Coq au Vino Bianco

There are many traditional variations on coq au vin in France—in the Jura they add morels; the Alsatian version is bound at the last minute with egg yolks and cream and served with noodles; in Provence cooks add tomatoes, black olives, and red peppers; in Normandy the wine becomes cider; in Flanders, beer. And of course the original is the Burgundian chicken stew with red wine, onions, mushrooms, and lardons. We’ve decided to make it lighter with white wine—and Italian wine at that. We like to make this peasant dish a day in advance, to give time for the flavors to meld.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tiny pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken (3½ to 4 pounds), well rinsed, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound fresh cultivated mushrooms, stems discarded, caps quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups dry Italian white wine, such as Soave or Orvieto
  • 1 cup Berta’s Chicken Stock or canned broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Method

  1. Using a sharp knife, make a small × in the root end of each pearl onion. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the pearl onions, lower the heat, and simmer about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and peel.
  2. Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole. Add the chopped onion, and sauté over low heat, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Add the olive oil to the casserole, and brown the chicken on all sides. Return the chopped onions to the pot.
  5. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until it is lightly colored and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and add it to the chicken.
  6. Add the pearl onions to the skillet and cook them, over medium heat, tossing constantly, until lightly browned. Sprinkle them with the sugar, and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Add them to the chicken.
  7. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes; add them to the chicken.
  8. Add the bay leaf, wine, stock, and thyme to the casserole. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork, 30 minutes.
  9. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a warmed platter. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil and reduce until it is slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and serve garnished with the chopped parsley.

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