A classic French dish, Coq au Vin is chicken cooked in red wine with some bacon, onions, and mushrooms. In this chicken recipe designed for the busy lifestyle or first-time cooks, the chicken is cooked in a crock pot, which can be left to cook on its own without fuss. You can leave the house, do errands, finish some household chores, and come back to a freshly cooked, exquisitely flavorful chicken stew. This recipe also includes pearl onions, dried thyme, chicken stock, tomato paste, and all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce. Pepper is used to season the dish and because it contains bacon, you no longer to add salt.
Traditionally, coq au vin is cooked with a cock bird from Bresse and red wine from Burgundy. Since it is not always possible to get a cock bird, chicken is more popularly used around the world to make mouthwatering healthy recipes. You can use Burgundy or French red wine if you wish, but you can also use new world wines from California, Australia, or New Zealand. Use a decent wine at least, one that you like to drink, since the flavor will affect the outcome of the dish.
This dish involves two stages of cooking. The chicken, together with the rest of the ingredients, are cooked in the crock pot on low heat for six to eight hours until the meat is so tender it easily falls off the bone and almost melts in the mouth. The second is to make the sauce thicker and enhanced with tomato paste, which is cooked on high for about fifteen minutes.
Ingredients: 2 cups frozen pearl onions (thawed), 4 slices bacon (fried and crumbled), 1 cup sliced button mushrooms, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon pepper (freshly ground), 6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ½ cup dry red wine, ¾ cup chicken stock, ½ cup tomato paste, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Place the onions on the bottom of the crock pot, then add the bacon pieces, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, pepper, chicken breasts, wine, and stock. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Using a slotted spatula, remove the chicken and vegetables. Cover with foil to keep warm. Pour ½ cup of the cooking liquid into a small mixing bowl. Increase the crock pot heat to high. Cover. In a mixing bowl, stir together the ½ cup of cooking liquid, tomato paste, and flour. Pour this mixture into the crock pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the liquid obtains the consistency of a thick sauce. Place the chicken and vegetables on a serving dish and pour the thick sauce over them.
You can make this dish in the morning or cook it overnight. Make sure that the chicken is thawed not frozen when you place it in the crock pot. Do not thaw the chicken in room temperature. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost it in ice-cold water for a few hours.