Weekday coq au vin
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 10 minutes
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Note: From "Ruhlman's Twenty," by Michael Ruhlman
4 chicken legs
4 ounces bacon strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons flour
1 carrot, left whole
8 shallots, peeled, left whole
2 bay leaves
1/2 pound white mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, grated lemon zest
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken legs on a large baking sheet; roast, 20 minutes. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325.
2. Meanwhile, put the bacon, onion and garlic in a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven. (The pan should be large enough to hold the chicken legs in one layer.) Add 2 three-finger pinches of salt and enough water just to cover ingredients. Cook over high heat until the water has cooked off, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until the onion has begun to caramelize, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour; stir.
3. Nestle the chicken, skin-side-down, into the onion mixture in one layer. Tuck the carrot, shallots and bay leaves into the pan; add mushrooms. (The mushrooms can rest on top if there isn't enough room in the pan; they will cook down.) Add the wine and honey; season with pepper to taste. Add enough water to reach three-fourths the way up the chicken. Heat to a simmer over high heat; slide the pan, uncovered, into the oven.
4. Cook 20 minutes; turn chicken pieces skin-side up. Stir ingredients to make sure they cook evenly. Taste the sauce; add salt if needed. Return to oven; cook until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven; just the skin side of the chicken should be above the liquid. Broil the chicken until the skin is crisp, 3-4 minutes. Remove and discard carrot and bay leaves. Serve chicken in shallow bowls garnished with parsley and lemon zest.