Coq au Vin

The air is getting a tiny bit crisp, and I can feel autumn in the air. It’s one of my favorite seasons for many reasons – I stop to look and smile when I see the leaves change color as they wave on the trees, then dance in the air as they fall to the ground. I am thrilled at the abundance of late summer produce that beg me to prepare and and store them for a sweet taste of summer in the colder months soon to come. I love the High Holidays – happy times with family seated around the table enjoying delicious food and wine. This recipe is one that will grace my Rosh Hashanah table – it is easy to prepare and freezes well. Traditionally, coq au vin calls for chicken with bones in it, but it is still considered coq au vin if you use large skinless, boneless chicken cutlets such as these.  It is important to remember not to overcrowd the pan- use two pans, or work in batches if you need to. This recipe makes quite a bit, so feel free to halve the recipe if needed.

Ingredients:

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5 full chicken cutlets, cut in half to make 10 individual pieces (boneless/skinless, cleaned of fat)
5 packages of button mushrooms (cut into quarters)
1 750 ml bottle of Cabernet or other dry red wine (not marsala or anything fortified)
2 large Spanish onions, diced
packed 1/2 C each fresh basil and parsley, minced
4-6 large garlic cloves, minced
Flour for dredging
4 tblsp black pepper and dried tarragon
2 tblsp salt
oil for sauteing
1) Prepare chicken breasts by making sure they are very dry by patting excess moisture off with a paper towel. Add the salt, pepper and dried tarragon to the flour, mix to combine, dredge cutlets, set aside. (as shown in picture above).
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2) Heat oil in the bottom of TWO high-sided frying pans (just barely to cover the bottom) and when hot add the onions. 5-7 on mid high til starting to get color.
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3) Add garlic and fresh herbs. Lower heat, cook, stirring often for 3-5 mins.
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4 )Add mushrooms, and stir to combine. Add1/4 C of  red wine, cook til mushrooms are just starting to shrink, about 10 mins. Remove from fire and reserve.
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5) Add oil to bottom of the same two pans, enough to make a thin layer, and in batches pan fry the cutlets (about 5 mins per side, but do not cook through) til you get light brown color on the outside.
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6) When all chicken is cooked, divide between both pans ( it’s okay if it’s a bit tight) and re-add the reserved mushroom mixture.
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7) Cook on low uncovered for about 20 mins, stirring carefully once or twice. It is done with the chicken is soft and cooked all the way through (cut a cutlet open if need be to test), mushrooms are only 1/4 of their original size, and the wine has reduced at least 1/3 of original amount.