Sunday, March 13, 2011

Faux au vin

I don't know why I'm just discovering this, but chicken leg quarters are CHEAP! Even not on sale, they're about $.79 a pound at my local grocery store. "Chicken leg quarters" contain the leg, thigh, and part of the back of the chicken - and are so cheap because they require less processing than other cuts sold to consumers. True, they do come with a lot of fat and a fair amount of extra bits...but I have a pretty high 'ick factor' tolerance, and I'm never one to shy away from a challenge - especially if saving money is involved!

Wondering what to do with my $3.00 worth of chicken leg quarters, I quickly discovered several recipes for coq au vin and decided to give it a try. Coq au vin ("rooster in wine") is a classic French dish - essentially, a comforting yet luxurious chicken stew. The leg quarters didn't fail me - in fact, it seems like they were built for this recipe. However, for the time and energy involved (a good 2-3 hours total), the specific recipe I used was good - but not great. I imagine, though, that like pot roast or beef stew, it'll take some trial and error before I find a recipe with the perfect combo of flavors for my tastes.

If you have a great coq au vin or other chicken stew recipe, I'd love to hear it! Anyone else out there discovered the awesome cheapness of chicken leg quarters?


  1. I watched a Top Chef recently where Tom Colicchio was REALLY annoyed that the contestant called something coq au vin when she used chicken and not an old rooster... he lit into her and she said, "Well, this is my grandma's recipe and she's french."

    Your dish look very moist and yummy. But I'm one of those people with a low tolerance for ick..... so I'd probably use just cut up thighs and legs and then take everything off the bone at the end like it looks like you did. BTW, the thing I don't like about chicken backs is that part that looks kinda like a crease..... what IS that? I don't want to think that much about meat.... b/c then I go vegetarian for awhile until I forget what I saw! :-)

    Those nice little onions you used are so dark they remind me of olives and I'm trying to remember where I saw a braised chicken dish recently using kalamata olives. And another BTW.... Trader Joes has a frozen bag of tiny pearl onions for cheap. Their frozen vegetables are such a time saver. I use the organic 4 veggies (carrot, grn. beans, onions, and peas) in those "quick" chicken pot pies I make and they are very good. Not mushy at all.

    Enjoyed :-)

  2. Oh. The best thing about your dish must have been the leftovers the next day. Even tastier!

  3. Thanks for the comments, Mom! :) The leftovers were good. I still have half a bag of frozen pearl onion, not sure what to do with them...