Recipe of the Week: Getting cozy with wine-braised chicken

With the start of fall upon us, it’s time to break out those recipes we’ve been saving since the summer.

This spin on coq au vin — a braised chicken dish we undoubtedly associate with fall and winter — comes from Annemarie Ahearn, the chef behind Salt Water Farm, a cooking school in Maine. She has a new cookbook, “Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm: Recipes from Land and Sea” (Roost Books, $35), which includes many of the dishes she teaches and serves at the school.

Long ago, this kind of wine-braised chicken was only made with old, tough birds, but Ahearn uses young, free-range birds, too. Don’t worry about using nice wine in this dish. She calls for Burgundy, but any rich red wine will be suitable.

Red Wine-Braised Chicken with Mushrooms, Bacon and Herbs

3 cups Burgundy red wine

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 peeled garlic cloves, 1 whole and 2 chopped

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 (5- to 6-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces

8 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 tablespoons butter

20 cipollini onions, peeled and quartered, or 3 yellow onions, peeled and cut into eighths

1 pound mushrooms (creminis, oysters, chicken of the woods and/or chanterelles), cut into quarters

1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley

In a medium-size saucepan, bring the wine, peppercorns, whole garlic clove, celery, carrot and yellow onion to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, then pour over chicken in a large bowl. Cover and marinate the chicken for several hours or overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Tie the parsley, bay leaves and thyme together with kitchen string; set aside. Remove the chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain solids from the marinade and reserve both solids and liquid. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon and fry until meat begins to crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl. Increase heat to medium high.

Working in two batches, brown chicken pieces for 6 to 8 minutes, flip them halfway through, then transfer to a plate. Add reserved marinade solids to the pot and cook until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved marinade liquid, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining garlic, chicken stock, shallots and salt and pepper to taste. Nestle the chicken and herb bundle in vegetables. Cover and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.

While the chicken is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cipollini or remaining yellow onions and sauté until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Combine the onions with bacon in bowl. Melt remaining butter over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

To serve, arrange chicken pieces on a large platter and top with sauce, bacon, onions, mushrooms and chopped parsley. Serve family style. Serves 6 to 8.

— From “Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm: Recipes from Land and Sea” by Annemarie Ahearn (Roost Books, $35)

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