A Passion for Locally-Sourced Foods
In 2020, Chef Jason was announced as a South Carolina Chef Ambassador, a prestigious title bestowed by the Palmetto State’s Governor, its Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Substantially more than an accolade or title, a State Chef Ambassador actively connects with and promotes area farms, their goods, and teaches how and where to locally source extraordinary ingredients for use in delicious farm-to-table dishes.
Chef Jason has previously served as Executive Chef at some of South Carolina's premier dining destinations, providing delicious, healthy meals created from freshly harvested ingredients.
In the short time since his ambassadorship, and less than one year into his current tenure as Head Chef at The Village Cafe located in Aiken, South Carolina, Chef Jason was tapped as a partner in the launch of the Lamson Test Kitchen, where America’s brightest chefs share personal stories, showcase their favorite recipes, and teach valuable kitchen techniques for inquisitive cooks around the globe.
Chef Jason's Recipe for Coq Au Vin
Coq au Vin | Serves 2-4 people
- 1 whole chicken, halved
- 2 jumbo sweet onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 qt button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bulb fennel
- 2 medium parsnips
- 1 lb bacon, diced and rendered (reserve the fat)
- 3-4 large garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 Tbsp salt and pepper
- 1 qt decent quality red wine
- 2 cups of high-quality chicken stock
- ⅓ lb cold butter, cubed (optional)
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- Heat a large roasting pan or dutch oven on the stovetop.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon fat, and heat until it reaches the smoke point.
- Add chicken, skin-side down, and brown, turning over to get the underside seared.
- Once the chicken is evenly browned, remove it and set it aside.
- Lower the heat to medium-high and add all of the vegetables with salt and pepper.
- After about one minute, add the bacon, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, and tomato paste.
- Continue to stir until the vegetables begin to soften and everything is coated with the tomato paste.
- Add the red wine, and scrape as much of the caramelization off of the bottom of the pan as possible.
- Add the chicken stock, and check for seasoning.
- Place the chicken skin side up on top of the vegetables and cover.
- Roast for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Uncover and roast an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken is fork-tender.
- Optional: Once the chicken is done, strain the liquid into a small saucepot and bring it just to a simmer.
- Slowly whisk the butter in a cube at a time until melted.
- Serve with a crusty baguette.
- Make sure to pat the chicken completely dry prior to searing. This will lessen the chance of ripping the skin. You can process it the night before and leave it uncovered in your refrigerator.
- If you are sensitive to rosemary, you can blanch the whole sprig in boiling water for a few seconds. This will remove the excess sap and reduce bitterness.
- Every oven is different. Cooking times and temperatures may vary.
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