Coq Au Vin with Prunes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- ½ cup bacon, minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 pound pitted prunes
- 2 cups Burgundy, pinot noir or other fruity red wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Minced parsley for garnish
1. Put oil in a large skillet, preferable non-stick, and turn heat to medium-high. A minute later, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding, skin side down. Cook, rotating pieces and adjusting heat as necessary to cook them evenly, until nicely browned on skin side, about 4 minutes; turn and brown on the other sides. As pieces are done, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, transfer them to a large stove-top casserole, and add remaining pieces. The entire process will take about 15 minutes.
2. When chicken is all browned, add onions to fat remaining in skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer them to casserole. Add bacon to skillet, if you are using it and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes; transfer to casserole and drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
3. Turn heat to medium; add garlic and 30 seconds later, the prunes. Cook for a minute, stirring once or twice, then add to casserole.
4. Turn heat under skillet to high and add half the wine. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan to remove any solid particles there, until wine is reduced by half. Pour into casserole along with remaining wine.
5. Turn heat under casserole to high and bring to a boil; stir, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring once or twice, until chicken is done, about 30 minutes. Remove top, stir in butter and raise heat to high; cook until sauce thickens a bit. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Yield: 4 servings