So with the last burst of bluster on Sunday, I decided to make one last comforting, warm meal. One final fling before I put the slow cooker to rest for a bit. Coq au vin... classic French comfort food. I gave it my own American twist with a slow cooker. C'est parfait!
I should qualify that while this recipe lets the slow cooker do the long haul work, there's a bit of prep beforehand. I can assure you it's worth it. It's just enough effort for entertaining, but might be tough for a Tuesday.
I prefer chicken thighs for this recipe. They have good flavor and hold up well during the long cook time. Bonus that they are quite affordable.
To give your sauce good thickness, you start with a light coating of flour on the chicken and then into the pan to brown. You'll have to do them in a couple of batches, but it's just a few moments per side, so it goes quick.
Brown up some quartered mushrooms in butter. Be sure not to crowd them. Then crisp a bit of bacon for good measure.
Then into the slow cooker it all goes. Layered chicken, mushrooms, bacon, pearl onions, carrots and seasonings. Top it all off with luscious red wine and spend the next few hours anticipating your delicious dinner.
Spoon every warm bit over mashed potatoes with parsley and relish in the end of this branded disaster of a season. Spring is here. Rejoice.
Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin
12 boneless, skinless chicken thights
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1lb button mushrooms, quartered
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1-inch chunks
1 1/4 cup pearl onions, defrosted
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
3 rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Coat chicken lightly in flour, salt and pepper mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown 1/3 of chicken thighs in a large pan over medium-high heat. Repeat with remaining olive oil and chicken. Arrange chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker in one layer.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over high heat. Add half of mushrooms to pan and keep them moving. When mushrooms brown (about 4 minutes) add to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and butter. Once mushrooms are done, crisp bacon over medium-high heat; add to slow cooker.
Add carrots, onions, garlic, bay, rosemary, oregano and tomato paste to slow cooker. Pour red wine and chicken stock over the top. Put the cover on the slow cooker and set to high heat for 4 hours.
Remove bay leaves and rosemary stems. Serve over mashed potatoes with parsley and enjoy!