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This is a delicious twist on the traditional French dish Coq au Vin. Pair with a round and rich Dry Riesling such as Ryan William 2013 Dry Riesling, Silver Thread 2013 Dry Riesling or Forge Cellars 2013 Dry Riesling. Serve with plenty of bread for mopping up the delicious sauce.
1/4 cup canola oil
4 pounds chicken pieces, either from a whole chicken cut up or individual legs/thighs/breast halves, depending on your preference
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 1/2 cups Dry Riesling
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped tarragon or parsley, for serving
Preheat oven to 300°. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large, oven-proof pot or skillet (I used an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven). Season chicken with salt and pepper; add half the pieces to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. (Tip: don’t flip until the meat releases easily from the pan.) Transfer to plate and brown the remaining pieces; set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in the pot, then add onion, carrot, celery and shallots, and cook over medium heat until vegetables soften. Add wine, scrape up any brown bits from the pot, and simmer for 1 minute. Add stock and thyme; bring to a boil.
Tuck chicken pieces back into pot, cover with lid and braise in oven 1 hour.
While chicken braises, cook mushrooms. Melt butter and olive oil over high heat in large skillet; add mushrooms and cook without stirring until well browned (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper; continue cooking until any liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms are brown and tender, another 5 or so minutes. Set aside.
Transfer chicken to a plate; strain liquid remaining in the pot through a sieve to remove solids and skim most of the fat off the top of the liquid. Return braising liquid to the pot; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk in crème fraîche and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Return chicken pieces and mushrooms to the sauce; simmer for a few minutes to warm through, garnish with the fresh tarragon or parsley and serve.
Note: If preparing for dinner guests, you could have the chicken braising when they arrive, and the mushrooms cooked right before. All that would remain is to reduce the sauce right before serving.
Photo by Amy Maltzan