Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

3 pounds chicken thighs
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
3 cups pinot noir red wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Season chicken with 2 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In
a large bowl, combine chicken, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and
refrigerate overnight.

In a large Dutch oven cook pancetta over medium-low heat until fat has rendered and is golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving fat in pot.

Remove chicken from wine, reserving the marinade. Pat chicken pieces  until very dry. Heat pancetta fat over medium heat until it’s just about to smoke. Working in batches,
add chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (Add oil if needed) Transfer browned chicken to a plate.

Add carrot, half the mushrooms and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pot. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 8 minutes, stirring up any brown bits from the pot, and adjusting heat to prevent burning.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then stir in flour and cook for another minute.

Add chicken, any accumulated juices and half the cooked pancetta to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, turning chicken halfway through. Uncover pot and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.

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