As you may have noticed in my post about these delicious brownies, I have a gentleman friend in my life. Being the good girlfriend that I am I decided to make him sit down and relax after a busy day at work so I could cook him dinner.
Also, I needed blog material. Two birds, one stone y’all.
So I thought I would make a romantic, impressive French dish, Coq au Vin (“Rooster with Wine”). This dish is almost like a stew with a thick red wine sauce. I made it once before for a crowd but this time I decided to make it a bit smaller and lighter, but equally delicious. The traditional recipes serve 4-6, so I worked to change it to a perfect date night dinner for two.
This is a great dish to prepare ahead of time so you can wipe the onion skins and excess flour off your clothes before going over to impress your significant other with your effortless cooking. (I did all the prep work at my place and took it over to his when it was ready for the oven)
But even though this is a lighter version of a classic, men will still love it because bacon and bacon fat are involved. Y’all would disappoint me if you didn’t have a jar of extra bacon fat in your fridge. You do, right? Right.
Date Night Coq au Vin (serves 2)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 slices bacon
1 T olive oil or bacon grease
2 cups mushroom caps, halved
12 small pearl onions, peeled
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 T tomato paste
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 T rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
salt & pepper
2 cups egg noodles, cooked
In a bowl, combine flour with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss chicken breasts in the flour and set aside. Chop bacon into small pieces (hint: this is easiest done if the bacon has been in the freezer for about an hour). In a heavy bottomed or cast iron skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside; leave the grease in the skillet. Add 1 T bacon grease or a drizzle of olive oil so the skillet is not dry. Place floured chicken into the hot skillet and allow it to brown on both sides (3-4 minutes/side). When the chicken is browned, remove from skillet and set in the bottom of a cooking dish. To the skillet, add the red wine and chicken stock to deglaze the skillet. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, parsley, and rosemary. Place the mushroom caps, pearl onions, and the cooked bacon in the skillet and stir well. Allow the mixture to reduce for a few minutes where it will become more sauce-like. After about 5 minutes, pour everything on top of the chicken in the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. With the oven set to 375*, bake covered for 35 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of baking, boil some egg noodles, drain them, and set them aside. When the chicken is ready, serve over the hot egg noodles, spooning extra sauce from the dish.