Last Saturday my husband and I went into Manhattan to have dinner and see a movie. We LOVE the Angelica Film Center – where we saw Elle – a pretty intense French physiological thriller – followed by dinner at Le Gigot a very lovely and superbly delicious French Bistro in the the West Village. I honestly felt like I was in Paris as we sipped our Cotes du Rhone and savored the Coq au Vin. All in all a wonderful evening.
There is something exceptional about French cooking, especially the rustic country French cooking like Coq au Vin, Bouillabaisse, Boeuf Bourguignon and Cassoulet. There’s something earthy and sensual about it, after three years of trying to be a vegan I appreciate every morsel of this type of food.
I can’t really claim this is coq au vin at all as there’s only 1 glass of wine in it and the wine in question is white, but nevertheless it is a chicken stew – with a little bit of wine – and it’s truly delicious. It’s also super easy to whip up for a great weeknight meal. Serve with a salad or on a bed of steamed spinach, with some warm bread and another glass of wine – perfect!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 sticks celery, diced
- 2 bulbs of garlic, cloves separated with skins ON
- 1 cup white wine (optional)
- 24 - 32 oz organic chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 heaping teaspoon pesto
- TO MARINATE THE CHICKEN
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, pepper,
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, parsley and thyme
- Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a shallow bowl or zip lock bag, add the chicken. This can be done a day ahead for a deeper flavor or 5 minutes before you start cooking.
- In a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan heat the olive oil, add the onion and caramelize. This could take 10-15 minutes, be patient, it's worth getting a rich deep flavor. Once caramelized add the carrots and celery and saute for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove veggies to a plate or a bowl.
- Add another splash of olive oil to the pan, brown the chicken thighs, this takes about 3-4 minutes. I just browned the top of the thighs. Remove from the pan.
- Place the veggies back in the pan, add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, then add stock, garlic, tomato paste and pesto. Stir well to combine. Nestle the chicken thighs into the stew. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 35-40 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve with potatoes, bread or sauteed leafy greens.
Like any stew the flavors improve with age so making plenty of it to enjoy the following night is a good idea:)