To ring in 2016, we had a French theme.
Our starter: Brie Cranberry Pizza.
Our main event was this spin on traditional coq au vin (a.k.a. chicken in wine sauce). I have tried beaucoup recipes for coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon (beef burgundy), for that matter, and have never gotten them right. But I can never get these dishes to cook down into a stew; they always turn out too soupy. That's why I was intrigued by the recipe for brochettes au coq au vin (coq au vin on skewers) found in Rachel Khoo's cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. (BTW, this cookbook was among my picks in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.)
Coq au vin in shish kebab form. Genius!
Still, on a rainy NYE I didn't want the hubby to have to tend the grill, so I decided to adapt Khoo's recipe for the oven -- making what I call Coq Au Vin Style Oven Roasted Chicken Legs and Vegetables. Magnifique! Thumbs up -- not that they put down their forks -- from my husband, daughters and our neighbor who dropped by to eat with us.
Coq Au Vin Style Oven Roasted Chicken Legs and Vegetables
Inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cups red wine
4 chicken leg quarters, bone in and skin on
Salt and pepper, to taste.
4 ounces of pancetta (cubes of smoked bacon)1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes or petite white potatoes, peel on and cut in half
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut roughly into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces of button onions, peeled and cut in half
4 ounces of button mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
First, make the marinade several hours or the night before you plan to serve this dish. Fry the garlic and onion in the butter until golden. Add four sprigs of thyme and bay leaves and cook for another minute and then add the wine. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Leave marinade to cool.
Season chicken legs with salt and pepper and place in large plastic container. Top chicken with pancetta and marinade and then cover and refrigerate for at least four hours and preferably longer or even overnight.
When you are ready to cook, remove chicken -- with some of the pancetta remaining on top -- from container and place in roasting pan. Roast in 425-degree oven for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 degrees and cook or another 20-30 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is cut at thickest part.
Meanwhile, place all of the vegetables -- except the mushrooms -- on a lightly sprayed baking pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil over vegetables and top generously with sprigs of thyme. Place in oven with chicken and remove when done -- should be done around same time as the chicken.
About 20 minutes before serving dinner, place the marinade in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then add the mushrooms and simmer until the food in the oven is done.
When plating, spoon mushrooms and wine sauce over the chicken.