Coq au vin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme
10 black peppercorns
4 ounces bacon, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 3/4 cup chopped)
16 pearl white onions
2 tablespoons canola oil
2½ pounds skin-on, chicken legs or thighs, patted dry
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
½ pounds (3 cups) button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1. Lay the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorn on a piece of cheesecloth. Gather the cloth and tie it into a bundle.
2. In a heavy 5-quart pot fitted with a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon starts turning light brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a medium bowl.
3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat, add the onions, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of bacon.
4. Pour off excess fat from the pot, place over medium-high heat, and add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot, about 1 tablespoon. Season half the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place the first batch skin-side down in the pot and cook each side, without moving, until brown, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil as needed and repeat with the second batch of chicken. Pour off excess oil. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the flour and whisk over low heat until golden brown, about 1 minute. Return the chicken, onions and bacon to the pot. Add the wine, tomato paste, chicken stock and cheesecloth bundle. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.
5. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their water, the water evaporates, and they brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, onions, and bacon to the bowl. Discard the cheesecloth bundle. Boil the cooking liquid until it reduces by about two-thirds. Skim the top from time to time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Return the chicken, onions and bacon to the pot, add the mushrooms and baste in the sauce over low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve with potatoes, rice or polenta. Serves 4. –Jill Santopietro for The Boston Globe.