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Cooking with wine

Coq a la moutarde

(Sheryl Julian/Globe Staff)
By Sheryl Julian
Globe Staff / October 27, 2010

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Serves 6

Traditional coq au vin, simmered with white wine, is more intense when you rub chicken with Dijon mustard before browning. You need 1 1/2 cups of white wine; use whatever you have.

3 bone-in chicken breast halves (2 pounds total)
8 bone-in chicken thighs (2 pounds total)
Oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
1. Spread the breasts and thighs on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle them on both sides with oil, salt, and pepper. Use a small blunt knife to spread the skin side with half the mustard.

2. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot. Add the breasts, skin side down. Brown them without moving, for 5 minutes. While they cook, spread mustard on the meaty pieces of the breasts. Turn and brown the other sides, without moving, for 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan.

3. Add the thighs to the pan and brown, without moving, for 3 minutes. Spread mustard on the sides facing up. Turn and brown the other sides, without moving, for 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan.

4. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Move the onion to one end of the pan. Tip the pan and use a large spoon to remove all the excess oil.

5. Pour the wine and stock into the pan, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, to release the sediment. Add the thighs to the pan, skin side up, to form one layer. Set the breasts on top. Add several sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil.

6. Lower the heat, set on the cover askew, and simmer the chicken for 50 minutes or until it is cooked through. During cooking, baste the breasts once or twice with the cooking liquid. Discard the thyme sprigs.

7. Meanwhile, remove the leaves from several sprigs of thyme and chop the leaves.

8. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle the chicken with fresh thyme.