What attracted me to this dish when I saw Nigella Lawson preparing it on the Food Network was that the chicken did not require any browning, which definitely shortens the clean-up time. I admit, however, that I was skeptical, since I knew that without any color, the chicken might not be too visually appealing. Nevertheless, the ease of prep and minimal cooking time convinced me to go ahead.
I was more than pleased with how the dish turned out the first time and have made it several times since, making small adjustments to the original recipe. As for the esthetics, the fresh dill add a lot of color. The savory-bacon and woodsy-mushroom flavors of the broth when combined with the buttered noodles have prompted many a guest to ask for seconds.
Coq au Riesling Adapted from Nigella Lawson
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic peeled and lightly smashed
1 cup bacon sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 1/2 leeks (finely sliced) Slice from the white just to where the leek starts to turn green.
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2.75 pounds)
3 bay leaves
12 oz portabello mushrooms (torn into strips)
1 bottle dry riesling, ideally Alsatian.
salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (to serve)
Buttered egg noodles to accompany.
Heat the oil and garlic clove in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven and fry the bacon stripe until crisp Remove the garlic clove when it starts to take on color;
Add the sliced leeks and a pinch of salt and soften with the bacon for a minute or so.
Add the chicken thigh with the bay leaves, torn mushrooms and wine.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to the boil. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hour. Like all stews, this will taste even better the next day.
Serve sprinkled with dill and together with some buttered egg noodles.
Note: Do not skimp on the quality of the Riesling. It accounts for a lot of the flavor in this dish.
Here’s a link to the original recipe.
Wine Pairing: Dry Alsatian Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc