1. Coq au Vin is traditionally made with lighter red wines like burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, pinot noir and beaujolais. However, it is still really delicious made with more full bodied red wines! I doubt I would know the difference.
I'm an advocate for using good value wines for slow cooking recipes because I reserve the good stuff for drinking! For this one, I really urge you to make the effort to find the discount barrel at the liquor store and get the best value reds you can because the red wine flavour is quite key in this! :)
2. I don't recommend making this with boneless skinless breast because it will be quite dry. I like to use pretty much every other part of the chicken for this one! My butcher dejoints chickens for me and I take the juicy parts.
3. Pearl onions are baby onions. You can use the bulb of spring onions as well. I couldn't find them / forgot to hunt for them so I just used small pickling onions that I had.
4. Eschalots are small onions that are not as acidic as the traditional large onions, and becomes sweet when cooked. It's not a deal breaker if you use normal onions though!
5. Bouquet Garnis are a bundle of herbs used in French cooking that is usually made up with parsley, thyme and a bay leaf which is what I have used. There are many variations of this using other herbs so feel free to add your touch. Tying them together makes it easier to pick out later, but isn't critical.
6. This Coq au Vin recipe is from "Manu's French Bistro" by Manu Feildel. I made a few minor changes to the recipe, as follows:
* Scaled down slightly from 6 to 4-5 serves, to match the serving sizes of the other recipes in my 3 part French Menu (French Onion soup to start, Coq au Vin for main, Creme Brûlée for dessert)
* Added beef broth. Some recipes, like Manu's, do not use broth at all but many do (e.g. Julia Childs!). I like the extra depth of flavour it adds, and also makes up for not using an expensive red wine!
* Manu's recipe says to add the mushrooms in at the beginning but I like my mushrooms with a bit more shape to them so I add them towards the end.
7. Nutrition - I haven't provided the nutrition for this because of two main factors: 1) the fattiness of the chicken and amount of fat discarded has a huge impact 2) I have no idea how to calculate how much reduction there is in the calories of the wine due to alcohol evaporation.