Coq au Vin Blanc

This is kind of the white wine version of the traditional coq au vin.  I like it because it tastes lighter even though I add a little cream at the end to the sauce.  My favorite memory of this dish is carting it up to Whistler for an apres ski meal.  It worked out well because most of the ingredients you need are already marinating with the chicken.  All you need is a little salt and pepper which most places you rent will surely have.  All of your prep work is already done so just pack a little pint of cream and you're set.  
1 Whole Chicken cut into 8 pieces
2/3 bottle of dry white wine
1 large carrot finely diced
2 celery rib finely diced
1/2 onion finely diced
Several sprigs of flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp mixed peppercorns

Combine all of the above in a large container, cover and refrigerate over night.  I had not planned this until I was at the store this morning.  So, my chicken went in about 9:15am.   It will be okay, but overnight is better.

Heat oven to 400f.  Remove and dry chicken on paper towels.  Strain the vegetable from the wine but reserve both.  Salt and pepper the chicken.  Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat.  Brown chicken, skin side down first.  Fry the chicken in batches so you don't crowd the pan.  Remove chicken to a large baking pan.  Once all chicken pieces are browned, place chicken in the oven to finish, about another 25-30 minutes.  I prefer this method to placing the chicken in the wine to cook because this keeps the chicken crispy and I prefer the resulting texture of the chicken.

For the sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

While the chicken is roasting in the oven, saute the vegetables in the oil left from frying the chicken until slightly browned.  Stir in flour until well incorporated.  Deglaze with the wine and bring to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes.  Add in chicken stock and bring back to a light boil for another 5-7 minutes.  Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the solids to get out all their juices.  Discard the vegetables.  Return sauce to pan and boil lightly to reduce a bit, 5 minutes or so.  Add in cream and simmer for a few minutes more.  Serve chicken with sauce spooned around the chicken to maintain the crispiness of the skin.  Some sliced white mushrooms sauteed with a little lemon makes a good companion.  Another winner chicken dinner.  Leftover chicken cut into bite sized pieces make for a great pasta lunch!


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