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COQ AU VIN

4 oz chunk lean bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. cut-up frying chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups red wine (Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Chianti)
1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock, or canned beef bouillon
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
12 to 24 brown-braised onions
1/2 lb. sauteed mushrooms
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
sprigs of fresh parsley

Remove the rind and cut the bacon into lardons. Simmer for 10
minutes in 2 quarts 0f water. Rinse in cold water. Dry.

Saute the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly
browned (temperature of 360 degrees for an electric skillet). Remove
to a side dish.

Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole
(360 degrees for the electric skillet).

Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the
chicken. Cover and cook slowly (300 degrees) for 10 minutes, turning
the chicken once.

Uncover, and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the
cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth
for several seconds until the flames subside. Pour the wine into
the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the
chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to
the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until
the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the
meat is pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

immer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or
two, skimming off fat. Then raise heat and boil rapidly, reducing
the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from
heat, and discard bay leaf.

Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (beurre
manic). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring
to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce
should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions
around it, and baste with the sauce. (*) If the dish is not to be
served immediately, film the top of the sauce with stock or dot
with small pieces of butter. Set aside uncovered. It can now wait
indefinitely.

Shortly before serving, bring to the simmer, basting the chicken
with the sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until
the chicken is hot through.

Serve from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter . Decorate
with sprigs of parsley.

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