Wednesday, July 3, 2013

French Countryside Coq au vin

Previously we were the caretakers of two roosters here at Crooked Coop Farm, one pleasant rooster, and one mean, aggressive, and rather scary rooster. The later had to go. 

Our mean rooster named "Roosty" and then renamed by our oldest as "Big ol' fat Belly" was a Red Ranger from our first flock of chickens. He was scheduled to be butchered last year but we decided to keep him as a guard rooster for the rest of the flock. Unfortunately he wasn't just  guarding the birds  against predators he was protecting them from our family when we went back to the coop as well  creating a not so delightful situation. The older he became the more aggressive he became and once Big ol' Fat Belly began to be aggressive with our boys it was time for him to go. There are other options to take when one has an aggressive rooster but seeing that he was eye level with our youngest we thought the best option would be for him to get butchered. 

What do you do once the big rooster is gone?

My husband is a chef by trade so he likes to make the most out of any dining opportunity, and this means Roosty became coq au vin. Coq au vin is a traditional french countryside dish that translates to cockerel in red wine. It is a complicated recipe that calls for an old rooster (which gives it a better sauce). If you are up for the challenge of making this dish it is well worth it. 

Here is my husband's recipe:

You will need:
  • 1 Big Ol' Fat Belly cut into eighths (ours weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz dressed)
  • 1.5 L Pinot Noir
  • 1 lb mushrooms halved
  • approximately 15 shallots peeled and quartered (preferably you would want to have pearl onions rather than shallots but our store was out so he substituted)
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and flattened
  • 1/2 pound bacon diced
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (two bay leaved, a few sprigs of parsley and a few sprigs of thyme)
  • a few sprigs of savory
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 1/2 T sugar
  • flour
  • 4 T butter

  • Marinade Roosty in Pinot Noir overnight. 
  • In a large dutch oven (he used cast iron) render bacon until crisp
  • Remove bacon and set aside
  • Take rooster pieces out of marinade, pat dry then brown off in pot
  • once all pieces are browned set aside
  • add mushrooms and cook until browned
  • add butter if necessary and when browned set mushrooms aside
  • add shallots and cook until browned
  • return bacon, mushrooms, rooster to the pot
  • add your bouquet garni and savory
  • add salt and paper to taste
  • add your sugar
  • add wine marinade to the pot and bring to a boil
  • once boiling reduce heat and cover for about 3 hours or until tender
  • Remove rooster mushrooms and shallots from pot and keep warm
  • skim away any fat from top of broth
  • make a roux in a separate pan and add a little to the pot at a time
  • then cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes)
  • return mushrooms, shallots and rooster once again to pot and cook until hot.

Serve one piece over mashed potatoes with sauce from your pot. 

Enjoy! If you have any experience with this dish or others that call for a rooster please share them with us!

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