Traditional recipes for coq au vin finish the sauce with the rooster’s blood, which is still a good idea if starting with a live bird (see “Blood”). Coq au vin is usually thought of as Burgundian, and some cooks underline this fact by using a good marc de Bourgogne to deglaze the pan after browning and again to finish the braising liquid. Another approach is to give the dish local character by using the appropriate wine and herbs, and finishing with the appropriate spirit (such as California Zinfandel or Napa Valley brandy). However, if you’re in Burgundy, don’t be crazy and use red Burgundy, traditional or not. It doesn’t have the necessary structure, to say nothing of its expense.
In this recipe, the pieces of rooster are coated with flour, browned, and moistened with red wine. The consistency of the braising liquid is adjusted at the end by reduction and with beurre manié. For flourless versions, the flour and beurre manié can be omitted and the braising liquid lent natural body by including blanched pork rinds in the braise. The finished braising liquid can also be combined with concentrated chicken stock, or glace de viande can be added to give it body. With either version, the braising liquid is then reduced to the desired consistency.
|lean salt pork|
|salt and pepper||to taste||to taste|
|large bouquet garni|
|brandy or marc|
|pearl onions, peeled|
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.