Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Feb 27, 2011

The Ultimate Lush Dish - Coq au Vin

Libations Used: 3 cups red wine
Libations left over: 1 glass red wine

Coq au Vin might sound all fancy and French, but this is actually one of the easiest dishes to make. What with the cold snap and the sheets of rain earlier this week in LA, I was constantly craving this dish. Sadly, I didn't have time to make it due to the madness of awards season, but I wanted to share this as my first recipe on "The Lush Chef." It has quickly become my standby dish for solo dinners and dinner parties - who doesn't love wine-soaked chicken?

This recipe was taken from "The Kitchn" - my favorite cooking blog, and the best part is, they found a way to shrink the cooking time down to about 30 minutes. I prefer to cook this longer for ultimate flavoring, and to give time for the sauce to reduce, but if you're desperate on time, 30 minutes will do.

Coq au Vin - serves 6-8 people, or 3 hungry guys and 2 girls.

  • 1 whole chicken (already cut and with skin on) or 8 thighs
  • 3/4 cup dried mushrooms (I've also done fresh if dried can't be readily found)
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 large onion cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices. Or, if you find small & pretty heirloom carrots at the market, just toss those in whole!
  • 5 large garlic cloves, gently smashed
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 cups dry, fruity wine (I prefer zins that have red roosters on the label)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Lightly sprinkle chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Wash hands and pour yourself that remaining glass of wine.
- Place mushrooms in a small bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to cover.
- Brown pancetta over medium heat in a dutch oven or 4-5 quart deep skillet for 5-7 minutes.
- Add onions and cook for another minute, until softened.
- Turn up heat to med-high and add chicken, skin side down and cook for 10 minutes, turning pieces as they brown on each side. Drain any excess fat.
- Add carrots, garlic, tomato paste, wine, chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme.
- Lower heat so liquid barely simmers, cook and cover for 20+ minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken to a platter and skim off any excess fat from liquid.
- Add mushrooms and broth to dutch oven, and turn up heat so mixture is boiling. Reduce by 1/3 or 1/2 (depending on time).
- Finish glass of wine.
- Remove bay leaf and thyme. A few minutes before serving, add chicken back to dutch oven to reheat.

I love this dish served with some warm, crusty bread to soak up all that delicious wine sauce.