At this time of the year we look forward to the spring, but, despite our yearning, winter remains. This is a dish that helps you make the best of what’s left of winter at dinner time. It’s a great dish to make on the weekend and eat during the week. Throw together some local poultry, delicious Long Island potatoes and carrots along with a hearty white wine or light-bodied red. This takes a few hours to make, so if you don’t feel like cooking, come in to Cuvee this weekend and enjoy it for restaurant week.
I call this dish “loc” au vin because it’s a coq au vin made with local poultry from Miloski’s Farm in Calverton, organic carrots from Satur Farms and locally-foraged mushrooms braised in Jamesport Vineyard’s new Pinot Noir blend of five grapes, cleverly named, Cinq. We are serving this dish on a bed of mashed “Route 48 roadside” potatoes finished with white truffle oil. Be sure to pick up an extra bottle of the Cinq to have with your Loc au vin. The pinot noir-predominant wine is light enough in body to not overwhelm the chicken, but hearty enough to stand up to the mushrooms and truffle oil.
- 1/2 lb bacon slices
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 3 lbs local chicken or capone thighs and legs along with sectioned breast meat, excess fat trimmed, skin ON
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups home chicken stock (organic boxed ok)
- 2 cups Bedell Cellars First Crush red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- Several fresh thyme sprigs
- Several fresh parsley sprigs
- 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped, 1/2 cup of other local hearty mushroom like “chicken of the woods”
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by 1/4 inch pieces.
2. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Don’t crowd your pan or the chicken will never brown so work in batches as necessary. Add onions and chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken.) Turn off flame and allow to cool.
3. Proceed with chopping your vegetables: carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions and sautee in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Set aside. You do not want to cook your vegetables the same amount of time as the chicken or they will loose their flavor, texture and vibrant color. You will add this sautee back to the chicken later in the recipe.
4. Once chicken has cooled a bit, spoon off any excess fat and turn flame back on to medium high. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken and vegetables to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
5. Add sauteed vegetables to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with local micro greens and serve.