Pete just celebrated his birthday -- and because Barb is the Queen Bee, Pete was responsible for cooking dinner, not just for himself and Barb, but for a posse of well-wishers. And Pete went all out, spending the day slaving over coq au vin, one of my all-time favorite fall dishes. And it's one of the Marczyk's favorite dishes, too, and while this recipe veers from a traditional coq au vin, Barb insists it's a huge crowd-pleaser. "Pete loves to take recipes and tweak them, and believe me, they're always interesting -- and always delicious," she says, adding that it's best served with French bread and a celebratory bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Coq au vin
1 whole chicken, cut into breasts, thighs and legs 4 thick slices Niman Ranch guanciale, diced, soaked in water and drained 2 medium white onions, peeled and quartered 4 whole cloves garlic, peeled Fresh thyme, parsley and rosemary, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied 3 bay leaves 12 ounces white wine Three carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise 1 lemon, seeds removed, cut into slivers Small handful of Niçoise olives Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
1. Brown the guanciale in a heavy saucepan until it's crisp and brown on all sides. Remove from pan. 2. Add onions and garlic cloves; cook until softened and slightly brown; remove onions and garlic cloves, and set aside. 3. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken, and add to the pan skin-side down. Cook chicken until brown and most of the fat has rendered out. Flip and brown the other side. 4. Return onions, garlic, and guanciale to pan, along with the wrapped herbs, carrots, lemon slivers and olives. 5. Pour wine over ingredients and bring saucepan to a simmer. Place saucepan in oven at 300 degrees and braise 1.5 to 2 hours.