A Quick & Easy Coq Au Vin

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coq-au-vin-600Let’s face it: You’re busy — too busy to mess around with complicated cooking at the end of the day. Still, dinner should be more than just a cup full of cereal and the dream of a brighter tomorrow. Enter: Jenny Rosenstrach, a busy mom who makes dinner happen with style, simplicity, and just the right amount of sizzle. Whether or not you're cooking for kids, we love her easy, delicious approach. In fact, we love it so much, we'll be sharing one of her recipes every week, so you can have a life — and a REALLY good meal, too.

Quick-ish Coq au Vin
We ate this with a green salad and a fresh baguette, but you’d probably be better off listening to Julia’s advice for sides. She recommends serving with buttered peas and parsley potatoes.

1 piece good quality bacon
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon mustard powder
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 pounds chicken thighs
1 onion, chunked
2 garlic cloves, smushed, but still whole
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup red or white wine
1 cup sliced carrots (or more if your kids love these as much as mine)
1 bunch thyme, tied with string as shown
handful mushrooms, sliced

In a Dutch oven or large enamel pot, fry bacon over medium heat. Remove when crispy and chop into smallish pieces.

Add flour, mustard powder, salt and pepper to a large dinner plate and mix up with your fingers or a fork.

Add oil to the bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Raise heat to medium-high. Dredge* chicken in flour mixture then add to the pot and brown, in batches if necessary, about 3-4 minutes a side. (They do not have to be cooked through.) Remove to a plate and set aside.

Decrease heat to medium. Add onions and garlic to the pot and a little more salt and pepper. Stir until onions are slightly wilted, 3 minutes. Smush in tomato paste, then add chicken broth and wine and whisk until integrated.

Add chicken back to the pot along with bacon, carrots, thyme, and mushrooms. Chicken should be mostly immersed. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until liquid cooks down a bit. (We probably only waited about 15 minutes because we were all so hungry and it was still delicious, if a little brothy.) Remove thyme and garlic cloves and serve.

*Dredge = Using your fingers or a fork, press chicken pieces into flour mixture until covered all over. Lift and shake off any excess flour.


Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of Dinner: A Love Story and the blog of the same name. She and her husband write The Providers column for Bon Appetit.

Photos: Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story