This crockpot chicken was so good I want to blog the recipe before I forget how I made it. We had it Monday night for the family Patriots game gathering, and some of my relatives went back for thirds.
Classic coq au vin contains a full bottle of Burgundy. I've made that mistake before. I wanted a more subtle dish, full-bodied and flavorful but without a dominant (hot wine!) ingredient. This worked.
You may skip some of these steps. (I actually forgot to deglaze the pan, although I tell you to.) I smashed the garlic with the bottom of the wine bottle. If I were in a real hurry, I'd throw everything into the crockpot and see what happens. I had some time before work though, so I browned the vegetables, and the chicken, while munching the extra bacon I had cooked. If I only had time for one step, I'd brown the chicken, to seal it so it stays juicy. Don't use only chicken breasts -- this needs some dark meat for flavor.
Crockpot Coq Au Vin
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour
4 chicken drumsticks (or thighs), with skin and bones
2 double boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2- and 3-inch pieces
4 slices bacon
8-12 baby carrots, quartered, or 1 regular carrot, quartered lengthwise and coarsely chopped
2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, chopped
8-12 oz. chicken stock (use less for thicker stock)
1 cup dry red wine (Burgundy is traditional, but any full-bodied dry wine will be fine.)
1/8 cup brandy (optional)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme or two large fresh sprigs
1 tsp dried parsley or two large fresh sprigs
1 15-oz jar small boiled onions, drained
Cooked (brown) rice or mashed potatoes
Cook the bacon in a large frying pan till crisp and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Drain all but 2 tbsp fat from pan. Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the pan and cook about 3 to 5 minutes, till they soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into the crockpot.
Toss the chicken in a bag with the flour until coated.
Add the chicken to the frying pan and brown quickly on all sides; don't cook it through, just seal the outsides. (You may need to do this in two batches; add a tbsp or two of oil or butter if needed.) Set chicken aside.
Pour the wine into the pan and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the pan.
Mix the cocoa with the chicken stock, stir it in. Add to crock pot with wine, brandy, dried mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. (If the herbs are fresh, bruise the leaves to release their essence.) Add the chicken, putting the drumsticks on the bottom. Sprinkle salt and pepper and crumbled bacon over all.
Cover crockpot and cook 6 hours on low. Add the boiled onions in the last half-hour.
Serve with (brown) rice or mashed potatoes.
Serves 4-6 with seconds