Coq au Vin – a satisfying chicken stew – can be a local meal to celebrate Earth Day
One day last spring, as the kids and I drove out our street, we spied a mother duck and her ducklings heading down our neighbour’s driveway. It was the sweetest sight, until we realized that they were headed towards Rothesay Road. I stopped the car and the kids jumped out to press the crosswalk button. They helped the family safely across the street and the ducks continued their march down to the river.
Feeling relieved that they had averted a disaster the kids hopped back in the car and we pulled out onto Rothesay Road, admiring the duck family as they waddled down another driveway. And then we spied a cat, skulking up the driveway, towards the mother duck. I pulled into my neighbour’s driveway the kids jumped out and went running off to help again. The cat’s owner ran out with a broom, the mother duck ran at the cat and a moment later the duck family, fully intact, was reassembled and headed down the hill to the river.
It reminded me how fortunate we are to experience nature in so many different ways, an appropriate thought for Earth Day, April 22.
We like to celebrate Earth Day with a 100-mile meal (or at least a mostly Maritime meal), which is surprisingly easy to do, even in Southern New Brunswick. This Coq au Vin recipe is a mostly Maritime meal with just a few ingredients from far-away places.
We buy our chickens from local farmers and Maritime-grown carrots and onions are still available in grocery stores. Even local garlic is available at some markets and New Brunswick wine is easy to find too.
Green tip: If you start looking you’ll see that there are many local foods available year round.
Coq au Vin
- About 3 lbs. chicken pieces
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 carrots, peeled & sliced
- 20 pearl onions (or 1 1/2 large onions, sliced)
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 Tbsp. Cognac or other brandy (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. fancy molasses
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- Salt & pepper
- 6 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley.
- In a Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Brown the chicken pieces in batches, cooking about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Add the carrots and onions to the pot and sauté until they begin to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and stir to coat.
- Add the broth, wine and brandy (if using) and bring to a simmer. Stir, scraping the bottom to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom.
- Stir in the tomato paste, molasses, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken pieces and fold them into the sauce.
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover and cook another 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until the carrots are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven, adjust the seasoning and sprinkle over the parsley.
- Serve with boiled new potatoes.