Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NEW RECIPE: Coq Au Vin with Fresh Pappardelle

© Constantine William Spyrou

If there's one cuisine that is very difficult for me to wrap my head around, it's French food. The main reason I find myself struggling with it is that every region in France has its own way of making dishes ranging from escargot to bouillabaise. There's no true defined way to do any dishes. There's also the complexity and richness of many French dishes that is hard to master, as the French love to create complex dishes utilizing tougher meats such as tripe and snails. However, coq au vin, a classic braised chicken dish, is one of the few French dishes I know how to make and can master. 

This coq au vin is, which you should expect with me by now, a fusion-style of this French classic. It gets ramped up with some great flavors coming in from a classic Italian Puttannesca sauce that just adds some great heat and level of flavor from the spice, tomatoes, and capers that just take the dish to the next level. 

This dish also gets an Italian spin in that instead of being served with rice or potatoes, its served atop a bed of fresh pappardelle noodles that I'll be making a recipe from scratch with! It will be mixed in with a delicious sauce made from the braising liquid of the coq au vin with something special! Check it out!

Recipe will serve 8 people.

For the Pappardelle:

3 whole eggs
3 cups flour (all-purpose can work, but a blend of semolina and all-purpose is my go-to mix for this)
1 teaspoon salt for the dough, 2 tablespoons salt for the water
1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil for the water
1 gallon of water for the pot
1/3 cup water for the dough (you might need more, so keep it off to the side)

For the Coq Au Vin:

2 whole chickens, quartered (each chicken should weigh around 3 to 4 pounds).
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 cups chopped Button Mushrooms
1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes (Roma work best for this)
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped black olives (Kalamatas are the best for this)
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes
2 bottles Burgundy Red Wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups vegetable stock
4 Bay Leaves
4 pods of star anise, broken
6 Juniper Berries
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to season

For the Sauce:

3 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to Season


1. Season the quartered chickens on all sides. Place in a container, and pour the wine and chopped parsley over the top of the chicken. Marinate overnight.
2. In a large saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the marinated chicken on all sides, which should take about 10 minutes total. Once it's flipped, get a cheesecloth or other bouqet garnit assembly and place in it the juniper berries, star anise, and the bay leaves.
3. Take the chicken out of the pan, and add in the minced garlic, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and leeks. Season the vegetables, and let them soften, about 5 minutes.
4. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pot, and add in the vegetable stock and the red wine with parsley that you marinated the chicken in. Add the tomatoes, black olives, chili flakes, capers, and the rosemary and thyme sprigs to the pot. Mix, and let the chicken simmer covered for up to 2 hours.
5. As the chicken simmers, make your pasta. Place all of your flour onto a board, then create a well in the center. Add the olive oil, water, eggs, and salt to the well. Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs, then slowly add flour into the well until it begins to form a dough. Gradually add more flour until all of the dough is combined. Roll this up into a ball and let it rest for up to 30 minutes.
6. Cut your pasta dough into 4 portions after it has rested. Roll each of these out to as thin as you can, and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips of pappardelle. Bring the gallon of water up to the boil, and add the salt and olive oil to the pot. When the chicken is ready to go, drop the pasta in. It literally won't take more than a minute to reach al dente since its fresh pasta.
7. In a hot frying pan or other pan, add some olive oil. Add the 3 cloves of minced garlic, and transfer at least 2 cups of the braising liquid from the coq au vin (make sure to get some of the vegetables in there!) to the pan. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream, and mix in your oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Season, and bring up to a boil. Reduce the sauce to about 2/3rds of its original volume.
8. When the pasta is cooked, drain it then mix it into the sauce in a serving dish. Serve the chicken quarters on the side. To plate, place a nest of pasta on the bottom of the plate and let the chicken rest over the top. If you wish, add a small amount of the braising liquid to each plate as well.

Coq Au Vin is a very rich and delicious dish that pairs perfectly with pasta and a rich sauce, which is what happens in this recipe. I hope this French-Italian fusion works well for you!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think of it and what you would change. If you make it, tell me how it turned out! Enjoy! =) 

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