Coq au vin (blanc)

Hearty dishes aren’t always described as elegant (think beef stew or chicken and dumplings), but the classic French recipe for coq au vin is the very definition. The only problem? You need high levels of patience and skill to pull it off. Enter this simplified white wine coq au vin. Fear not…it is simple and quick. It requires a very few ingredients, all of which you most likely have on hand .It is ready in under an hour and totally foolproof.  Plus, it has a twist, it’s made with dry white wine instead of red. It´s adapted from Nigel Slater´s "Coq au riesling", "in all its cream and wine laden glory." Did I also mention that there is bacon and mushrooms involved? Mmmm… They are modest investments that elevate the dish.
 For some Dão is Portugal's finest wine region, yet few wine drinkers have a clear picture of what the wines are like. It is often mentioned as Portugal's answer to Burgundy.
Just as Dão borrows from Burgundy in vineyards planted with pinot noirs and chardonnays, that region also inspires this dinner. You would not think the iconic coq au vin would be the best choice with chardonnay, but this version of coq au vin, in which I give a big nod to Portugal´s wine region replacing pinot noir with chardonnay, couldn’t be better. The wine makers have worked long and hard to develop those flavours. All you have to do is to pour it in, sit back and let it simmer happily for 40 minutes. A generous slab of unsalted butter too (especially if it’s high-fat European-style) bolsters the sauce, though with less foxy intrigue.This is just the ticket when you are in a dinner rut. Serve this delicious chicken with Herb and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
    Coq au vin (blanc)
    tbsp gunciale
    1 onion finely chopped
    4-5 strips of bacon/pancetta diced
    4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
    8 chicken pieces on the bone thighs and legs
    250 g mushrooms, halved or quartered
    500 ml/2/3 of a bottle of dry white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
    250 ml/1 cup double/whipping cream
    salt & pepper to taste
    handful flat leaf chopped parsley

    Cook bacon or pancetta in a tablespoon of olive oil. Skip oil if bacon is too fatty. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
    Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them in bacon fat over medium-high heat. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
    Cook chopped onion over low heat for 5-7 minutes, add garlic when the onion is tender and translucent and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove cooked onion and garlic to the same plate as chicken and bacon.
    Add mushrooms to the pan and brown them for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat.
    Return chicken, onion, garlic and bacon to the pan, pour wine all over, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.
    Add cream and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
    Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
    Serve with the mashed potatoes or rice and crusty bread to mop up all that amazing sauce.


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