Wednesday, February 22

Coq Au Vin

My boyfriend likes to joke that I’m turning into a Francophile every time I wear a certain knit beret (sometimes men just don't undertand fashion), but in truth, I have been diving in to French cuisine lately (see recipes here). Coq au vin is a very old, very French dish that traditionally requires braising a chicken for many hours. This updated version is much quicker and easier and still yields tender, flavorful chicken in a rich broth. The trick to achieving a really deep, flavor-packed sauce is to make sure to get the chicken dark and caramelized before adding in the wine. It’s an authentic French dish that will make you feel like you’re in Paris, especially if you don your beret before digging in. 

Coq Au Vin:
  • Cut a 3-4 lb. chicken into 8 pieces and season with salt and pepper.*
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven and add in 5 oz. chopped bacon. Cook until crispy, about 8 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add in half of the chicken and brown for about 7 minutes a side, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Add 2 sliced onions and 1 lb. thickly sliced carrots to the empty pot, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook vegetables for 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and starting to brown.
  • Add in 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add in 1/4 c. cognac and let the alcohol burn off for a minute.
  • Add chicken and bacon back to the pot, along with 1 bottle red wine,** 2 c. chicken broth, and 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
  • Bring to liquid to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and place in a 275F oven.
  • Cook for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Place the pot over medium heat on the stove and stir in 2 tbsp. butter mixed with 3 tbsp. flour.
  • Stir in 1 lb. sliced, sauteed mushrooms and 1 package of frozen pearl onions.
  • Let sauce cook and reduce for 10-15 minutes, then divide chicken and vegetables onto plates and spoon extra sauce over the top.

Serves four - six
*You can do this yourself, but I prefer to ask a butcher to do it or to buy an already cut chicken at the store.
**I used a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, which is very traditional to coq au vin.