Phyllis McGinley's Coq Au Vin
6 strips of bacon cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
4 pounds each chicken breasts and legs (skinned)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cans (10 1/2 ounces) beef broth, undiluted
6 cups Beaujolais
1/2 cup Rainwater Madeira
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1/3 teaspoon thyme
1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
12 baby carrots or 8 carrots (cut into 2-inch pieces)
40 pearl onions (butter-browned, then simmered in 3/4 cup beef broth flavored with a bouquet garni of 6 sprigs parsley, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 bay leaf, until onions are browned but still hold their shape)
21 mushroom caps (butter-browned)
Cooked wild rice
Saute bacon in butter until lightly browned; set aside bacon. Brown chicken pieces quickly in butter, turning once. Add seasonings. Add bacon, cover, simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and add heated Cognac. Ignite Cognac, shake casserole (or heavy frying pan) until flames subside. Add beef broth, Beaujolais, Madeira, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaf, and carrots.
Cover, simmer slowly about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Remove chicken and carrots to a side dish. Discard bacon. Cook stock until reduced to 2 1/2 cups. Meanwhile, prepare onions and mushrooms as directed in separate skillets. Blend flour into mushroom drippings. Cook until flour is brown and blend hot liquid from casserole into flour with wire whisk. Stir into the chicken stock.
Add onions, mushrooms, chicken and carrots. Cover, simmer 5 minutes. Cool, refrigerate. Next, day, remove congealed fat. Heat casserole slowly in oven or on top of the stove. Serve from the casserole.