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A traditional dish of Burgundy, coq au vin is perfect for cool autumn and winter evenings. This version calls for whole chicken legs, which emerge exceptionally moist and tender after long, slow cooking in a Dutch oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle (750ml) Pinot Noir
  • 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus 2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 leek (cut lengthwise)
  • 6 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 1/4 lb. whole chicken legs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. small button mushrooms
  • 3/4 lb. shallots, halved
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan over high heat, boil the wine until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Place the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf against the cut side of the halved leek and tie with kitchen twine. Set aside.

In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the reduced wine and the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon, chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots and bouquet garni. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until the chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Skim the fat off the sauce, set the pot over medium-high heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Discard the bouquet garni. Return the chicken to the pot. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Canal House Cooking, Vol. 2, by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.