Words almost can’t describe how much I love this chicken, but the word “exquisite” comes to mind. It’s French, it’s elegant and the sauce…oh my. I wish I could reach right through your screen right now and let you have a taste. Butter, wine and crème fraiche. Need I say more?
This, is worthy of your most special dinner party, served with buttered noodles or spaetzle and a rosy red beet salad. Going with either a vin d’Alsace pinot gris, or a delicate pinot noir, should you be in the red wine state of mind. Of course there will be some leftover Riesling as well, but I always think the leftover wine should be saved for the cook <g>.
Coq au Riesling
- 3-4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (skin on or off) (see Note>)
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 TBS each butter and olive oil, plus a bit more butter for sauteeing mushrooms
- 4 small shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 TBS Cognac
- 1 cup dry Riesling
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
- 8 – 10 oz. mushrooms, quartered (preferably cremini)
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (or 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream)
- Chopped fresh parsley or tarragon for garnish
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the chicken on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate and add the shallots and garlic to the pan for about 1 minute. Carefully pour the Cognac in to deglaze (if you’re the adventurous type of soul, feel free to “flambé” the cognac and let it burn off). Put the chicken back in the pan. Pour in the wine and stock, cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, melt a little butter in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms until golden. When the chicken is cooked, remove it to a serving platter to keep warm. Over medium high heat, boil down the cooking liquid until reduced by almost half. Stir in the crème fraiche and mushrooms. Discard fresh thyme sprigs and taste the sauce for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Note> You may certainly use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this dish. Just lightly pound to a uniform thickness and proceed with the recipe as written. Reduce simmering time to about 10 minutes.