I’ve been on a bit of a kebab and skewer kick in 2012, and this week I’m taking a French winter classic and turning it into summer fare with my Coq Au Vin Kebabs.
The classic dish is a stew that includes sautéed bacon, bone-in chicken pieces, mushrooms and a red wine sauce. I’m taking these components and turning them into flavorful chicken skewers to cook up on the grill.
The chicken – boneless, skinless breasts or thighs – is marinated in red wine, garlic and herbs for an hour or two. I like to combine everything in a zip-top plastic bag for easy cleanup.
Once the chicken has marinated, it is drained and patted dry with paper towels.
Next, the pieces are wrapped with half a fresh sage or basil leaf and half a strip of bacon and skewered to secure the bacon. The bacon-wrapped chicken is alternated on the skewers with whole button mushrooms.
The skewers grill up with about 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time, and you’ll want to turn the skewers every 4 or 5 minutes.
Rice pilaf and a steamed green vegetable can complete your menu.
COQ AU VIN KEBABS
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic, about 3 cloves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon minced dried rosemary
Fresh sage or basil, optional
1 pound bacon (not thick cut) or ½ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper before skewering
Bamboo or metal grill skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water for 15 minutes before using)
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add the wine, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Squeeze to combine, seal the bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Drain the chicken in a colander. Spread a double layer of paper towels on a flat surface and spread the chicken over the paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Preheat a grill according to manufacturer’s directions.
Take one piece of the chicken, wrap with a sage or basil leaf if desired, then wrap with bacon (about 1/3 piece). Skewer to secure the bacon, then skewer with a mushroom. Continue with the remaining chicken and mushrooms.
Grill the skewers until bacon is golden and chicken is done, about 20-25 minutes total, turning every 4 or 5 minutes.
Makes 4-6 servings.