Coq au Vin

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces*
1/2 cup butter
3 slices thick bacon or pancetta, diced
10 small white onions, peeled and left whole
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of white button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cognac
1/2 bottle dry red wine**

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and brown the chicken on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a casserole dish on low heat on the stove and add the bacon, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the cognac over the chicken and ignite. When the flames dies down, add the wine. Cover and bake in the oven for about an hour and ten minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

*This is one of those dishes that requires a lot of prep work, so have all of your ingredients ready before you start browning the chicken and, most importantly, save yourself a lot of time and effort by buying a whole chicken already cut up.

**Chambertin is the classic wine used for this dish, but don't bother looking for it or wasting your money. Contrary to what those wine snobs on all the cooking shows say, you don't need to use a top-shelf wine for cooking. The first time I made this, I used a $2.00 bottle of dry red wine and the result was absolutely delicious.