Crock Pot Coq Au Vin

  1. Rare Feathers Farm

    25 whole pearl onions
    8 lbs. chicken (stewing bird cut into pieces) or thighs/legs
    1 dash kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
    1/2 cup flour
    2 tbsp water
    6 oz. slab bacon or salt pork
    8 oz. fresh button mushrooms ( washed & quartered)
    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    1 bottle red wine (pinot noir is good)
    2 cans tomato paste
    1 white onion, sliced
    2 stalks celery (washed & sliced)
    1 bag baby carrots
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    7 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 whole bay leaf
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 bag egg noodles (OPTIONAL)

    Cooking Instructions

    Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an x with your knife in its place. Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. You should be able to pop the onions out of their skin. Set aside. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack. Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into a 5 quart (or larger) crock pot. Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch sauté pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and sauté until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the crock pot along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, plug in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. I use a meat thermometer to check the chicken. Once the chicken is done, strain the sauce through a colander (into a pot) to remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Heat the sauce at medium heat in a pot (uncovered), and cook until it is reduced by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork from the fridge and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired.

    Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tbsp of each. Whisk into the sauce for 4-5 minutes & repeat, if needed. This is a very rich & time-consuming recipe. I reserve it for winter weekends—since it can also be made in a Dutch oven on the woodstove, if we lose power.

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