Secret Recipe: Absinthe's Coq au Vin


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Hunker down in stormy weather with chef Adam Keough’s rib-coating chicken, a favorite at Absinthe. The traditional French dish gets its flavor from a two-day cooking process and a surprising ingredient, but the effort is well worth the delicious richness—pig’s feet be damned. 


Coq au Vin

Serves 4-6

Day 1

2 whole older male organic chickens, backs removed, separating into whole double breast & leg

1 pig’s feet                             

1 cup carrots (rough 1 inch dice)                             

1 cup celery (rough 1 inch dice)                              

1 pint yellow onions (rough 1 inch dice)                            

1 1/2 cups crimini mushroom stems                         

1 cup leeks (rough 1 inch dice)                                

6 cloves garlic (smashed with chef’s knife)                         

2 each bay leaves                              

5 each black peppercorns                             

4 sprigs thyme                                   

2 quarts chicken stock                                  

4 tablespoons canola oil                                                                   

1 bottle Burgundy pinot noir                        

salt and black pepper 

1. Remove the chicken legs and separate the breast from the back in 1 piece.  
2. Season the legs and double breast generously with salt and black pepper and put on a rack on top of a sheet tray and wrap with plastic wrap. Set in refrigerator overnight.
3. Chop each chicken back into 4 pieces and dry with a paper towel. 
4. Heat a large (thick bottom) pot over medium-high heat until very hot.              
5. Add canola oil and sear the chicken backs until golden brown on all sides.   
6. After browned, remove the chicken backs and reserve on a plate. Discard old grease from pan.
7. Add 4 tablespoons of canola oil to the same pan and heat again. Add carrots and caramelize over medium-high heat until light golden brown, then add onions and repeat.
8. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes; then add mushroom, leeks, celery and peppercorn and sauté for 3 more minutes.                                  
9. Add chicken stock, pig’s feet, reserved chicken backs, bay leaves, and thyme.                    
10. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim and foam impurities off the top with a ladle and discard.          
11. Simmer very slowly for 4 hours.                                   
12. Strain through a fine strainer and chill/reserve the pigs’ feet.                           
13. Chill the stock in ice water until cold. Reserve for following day, and discard the rest.                     

Day 2

1 bottle red Burgundy                                   

1 pint all-purpose flour                                  

6 strips bacon                        

1 1/2 cups rough cut carrots (around 1 inch)                                   

1 1/2 cups peeled pearl onions                                 

1 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms                                                         

3 sprigs thyme                                   

1 cup peeled and blanched English peas                              


canola oil       

teserved stock                                 

pigs’ feet (meat and fat cleaned off the bone and chopped up)                         

1. Reduce the bottle of wine by half and reserve.                          
2. Heat a large wide pan over medium-high heat.                          
3. Dredge the chicken with flour and shake off the excess.                                  
4. Add canola oil to pan and fry the chicken skin side down until golden brown; repeat on all sides.   
5. Remove the pan from the heat and remove chicken and reserve.                     
6. Add the bacon to the pan and cook slowly until slightly crisp; pull out bacon and leave bacon fat in pan.                            
7. Add the pearl onions in the bacon fat and sauté until light golden brown and reserve.
8. Sauté the criminis in the pan for 5 minutes on medium heat, then reserve.     
9. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add 3 tablespoons of flour; form a quick roux in the pan stirring continuously.
10. Add the wine reduction while whisking and bring to a boil with the herbs.   
11. Add the stock and chicken legs. Cook covered with foil in a 300 degree oven for 50 minutes.       
12. Add the chicken breast and cook covered for another 40 minutes.                 
13. Pull the pan out and rest for 1 hour. Discard the herbs and remove the chicken and set aside.           
14. Add the mushrooms to the sauce and reduce the sauce until it’s slightly thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon. Add the pearl onions and chopped pigs feet.                       
15. Separate the drumstick and thigh with a knife. Separate each breast from the bone and cut each in 2 pieces, yielding 8 total pieces.                            
16. Add back to thickened sauce. Add the peas.                             
17. Serve hot with persillade (chopped parsley and garlic) and crostini.            

*Note: Substitute chanterelles, porcinis or morels or add some of each for more flavor.  Great served with roasted potatoes on the side.                               

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