Though I have been back on Canadian soil for months now, I can’t seem to get thoughts of France out of my head; the food, the wine, the culture. Since I always look for an excuse to try out new recipes and I was sure my mother, who accompanied me on the France adventure, wouldn’t object to a French inspired meal for her birthday, I set out to create a menu that would bring us back to that sunny place where we shared so many wonderful memories.
Coq au vin is probably how most of you recognize this dish, which when translated simply means chicken in wine. Chicken is traditionally braised in a nice Burgundy wine, lardons, mushrooms, and garlic. It’s a winter dish that warms the soul and keeps you coming back for more. But, since my mother had an abundance of Riesling in her wine cellar, we took a route less traveled. The end result is perfection. I served it with fresh gougères, small boiled potatoes, and green beans.
You’ll just have to take my word for it and excuse the photo, since it was a special occasion and I was more interested in the company than the evidence.
Coq au Riesling
3 1/3 tbsp butter
splash of olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 slices of bacon/pancetta, sliced into thin strips
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 chicken pieces on the bone (I used 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)
1 small carton mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Riesling (or dry white wine of your choice)
1 cup cream (heavy or not so heavy, your choice)
salt & pepper to taste
handful chopped parsley
Melt the butter and oil together in a large pan.
Brown the chicken pieces all over and remove from the pan.
Add the onions and bacon and allow to fry until the onions are soft and translucent and
the bacon has rendered it’s fat.
Add the garlic and allow to saute for another 30 seconds before removing the mixture from the pan (leaving the fat behind).Add the mushrooms and allow to fry for 5 minutes.
Add the onion and bacon mixture along with the browned chicken back to the pan.
Pour in the wine and allow to come up to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
After 15 minutes, uncover, turn up the heat and add the cream. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley and season to taste.
Serve with rice, pasta or crusty bread.