- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
- 4 carrots, peeled, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 diced into bite size pieces, divided
- 3-4 small ribs celery, chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2-3 stems rosemary
- 7-8 sprigs thyme or lemon thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 5-6 whole peppercorns
- 1 sack fresh pearl onions, red or white
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 12 small-cut bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (Rachael uses 4 small chicken legs, 4 small chicken thighs and 2 bone-in skin-on breasts, halved crosswise)
- 1/3 pound lardons, thick-cut pancetta or bacon, diced
- Ground pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Crusty bread, such as a baguette
Note: you will need kitchen twine to prepare this recipe.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the coarsely chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen twine and drop into the pot, along with the bay leaves. Season with salt and toss the peppercorns into the pot. Cover and cook the veggies for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender-crisp. Turn off the heat and let cool.
While the vegetables cool, bring a few quarts of water to a boil, then add the pearl onions and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and cool the onions in an ice water bath. Trim the onions at the root end and squish them away from their skins. Place the onions in a sealable plastic bag and put them in the fridge.
Add the wine and chicken to the pot with the veggies, pushing the pieces down so that they are submerged in the wine. Place the pot in the fridge and chill overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
Remove the chicken from the wine and pat dry. Strain the the wine and reserve it, discarding the vegetables and herbs. Rinse and dry the pot, then place on the stove over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO to the pot and the lardons, pancetta or bacon. Brown and crisp it for 5 minutes, then remove and reserve.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown it in batches in the rendered fat until deep golden. Add another drizzle of EVOO if necessary for the second batch.
Add the reserved wine to the pot and scrape up any drippings. Add the stock and set the chicken and pork back into the pot. Add the diced carrots and pearl onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the chicken, onions and carrots to a platter. Raise the heat and thicken the reddish-brown liquid for 6-8 minutes more until it becomes a thin, shiny gravy. In a small skillet, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk the butter-flour mixture into the Coq au Vin sauce and let thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve the chicken, carrots and onions in shallow bowls topped with plenty of sauce.