Relatively Effortless Coq au Vin

Chicken thighs are slow-cooked and shredded in aromatic red wine stock, before marrying with the traditional mix of carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon. Serve with fresh parsley and a giant hunk of your favorite, crusty bread. Relatively effortless, completely delicious.

Relatively Effortless Coq au Vin
Makes 6-8 Servings

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic (optional)
2 cups hearty red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 slices thick-cut bacon
3 large multicolored carrots (or 5-6 smaller), peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

To Serve: 1 lb fingerling potatoes, quartered and boiled in salted water*, high quality salted butter, crusty bread for dipping

CHICKEN: In a crock pot, combine chicken, onion, garlic, red wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and desired amount of sea salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, then on high for an additional hour (Sorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy). Remove the cooked chicken from the crock pot and use two forks to shred the chicken. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid and set aside.

VEGETABLES: Meanwhile, place a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, then set aside, reserving the bacon fat. In the same saucepan, cook the carrots in the bacon grease until tender with slight crunch, about 3 minutes. Add the celery stalks and mushrooms and cook an additional couple minutes before removing the vegetables from the heat. In the same saucepan, add the reserved cooking liquid. Turn the heat up to high and cover, letting it reduce for about 15 minutes. Add the chicken and the cooked vegetable mixture to the pot and sprinkle with parsley.

To Serve: Divide the boiled potatoes between bowls. Sprinkle with bacon crumbles, as well as additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired. Place some salted butter on top. Ladle the warm stew over the potatoes. Serve with slices of crusty bread, for dipping. MMMMMMMM.

*This can be done ahead of time. You can heat up the potatoes just before serving.

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