Coq Au Vin

I am practicing physical distancing like most of you. It has resulted in more at home time. As long as I’m here, why not take advantage of the extra time and make something that takes a little longer. The classic French chicken stew, Coq Au Vin, immediately came to mind.

Coq Au Vin takes quite a few steps. None of them are difficult or demanding but it does take up some of your time. Fortunately, the reward is a rich succulent dish that is a classic for a reason.

Coq Au Vin was originally made with a large older stewing bird and the sauce was thickened with its blood. Old stewing birds are rare in the supermarket and I have never seen chicken blood! This is a more modern recipe and I like to use chicken thighs as they stand up better to the stewing like an older bird.

However, She Who Must Be Obeyed likes some white meat, so I usually shrug and use a whole bird. Fear Love trumps classic cooking. Feel free to get a whole bird and cut it up, buy a cut up chicken or use any combination of chicken parts that you like.

I started with a 1.2 kg (2 ½ pound) frying chicken. I cut it into pieces. I started by cutting down both sides of the spine to remove it. I froze it until later when I will us it in chicken stock. Then I found the joint between the wings and the breast. I pushed a knife into the joint and cut the wings off. I found the joint between the drumstick and the breast and pushed a knife into the joint and cut the drumsticks off.

I cut the thighs away from the breasts. Cut the breast halves apart and cut each breast half into two pieces.

I put 500 ml (2 cups) dry red wine and 5 ml (1 teaspoon) thyme and 5 ml (1 teaspoon) rosemary in a large casserole. I added the chicken parts and marinated overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.

Take the chicken out of the marinade and reserve the marinade liquid for later. Give the chicken a good grating of pepper and sprinkle with salt.

Put 125 ml (1/2 cup) flour in a plastic bag. Put two pieces of chicken in the bag and shake to coat. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, two at a time.

Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of butter over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven until it shimmers. Brown the chicken a few pieces at a time without crowding the pot. Set the chicken aside on a plate.

Add 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter to the pot. Brown 200 grams (1/2 pound) of thick cut bacon cut into chunks. Brown the bacon in the butter. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs and 2 cloves chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add 15 ml (1 tablespoon) tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Add 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of brandy and scrape up all bits and coating from the bottom of the pot.

Add 375 ml (1 ½ cups) chicken stock and the reserved wine marinade. Boil, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced by 1/3. Add the chicken and a bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour.

In a separate frying pan, heat 25 ml (2 tbsp) butter over medium heat until foaming. Add 200 grams (1/2 pound) button mushrooms and 170 grams (1/3 pound) pearl onions. Sauté until lightly browned. Grate peppers over the mushrooms and onions and set them aside.

Take the chicken out of the sauce.

Melt 25 ml (2 tbsp) of butter and mix in 25 ml (2 tbsp) of flour. Add it to the sauce and stir until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and onions to the sauce and pour it over the chicken. Serve hot.

 

The Verdict

This is such a wonderful dish. The sauce is deeply flavoured and complex. The chicken is delicious and moist. It goes great with roast potatoes, broad noodles, or rice. It is a classic!

The Old Fat Guy

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin

Ingredients

  • 1.2 to 1.5 kg (2 ½ to 3 pound) chicken cut up or chicken parts
  • 500 ml (2 cups) dry red wine
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) rosemary
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) thyme
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) fresh ground pepper
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • tomato
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) flour
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) butter
  • 200 grams (1/2 pound) thick cut bacon cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 25 ml (2 tbsp) brandy
  • 375 ml (1 ½ cups) chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 grams (1/2 pound) button mushrooms
  • 170 grams (1/3 pound) pearl onions
  • 25 ml (2 tbsp) flour

Instructions

  1. Put 500 ml (2 cups) dry red wine and 5 ml (1 teaspoon) thyme and 5 ml (1 teaspoon) rosemary in a large casserole. I added the chicken parts and marinated overnight, turning the chicken occasionally.
  2. Take the chicken out of the marinade and reserve the marinade liquid for later. Give the chicken a good grating of pepper and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put 125 ml (1/2 cup) flour in a plastic bag. Put two pieces of chicken in the bag and shake to coat. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, two at a time.
  4. Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of butter over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven until it shimmers. Brown the chicken a few pieces at a time without crowding the pot. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
  5. Add 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter to the pot. Brown 200 grams (1/2 pound) of thick cut bacon cut into chunks. Brown the bacon in the butter.
  6. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs and 2 cloves chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add 15 ml (1 tablespoon) tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of brandy and scrape up all bits and coating from the bottom of the pot.
  9. Add 375 ml (1 ½ cups) chicken stock and the reserved wine marinade. Boil, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced by 1/3.
  10. Add the chicken and a bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  11. In a separate frying pan, heat 25 ml (2 tbsp) butter over medium heat until foaming. Add 200 grams (1/2 pound) button mushrooms and 170 grams (1/3 pound) pearl onions. Sauté until lightly browned. Grate peppers over the mushrooms and onions and set them aside.
  12. Take the chicken out of the sauce. Put it in the serving dish or platter.
  13. Melt 25 ml (2 tbsp) of butter and mix in 25 ml (2 tbsp) of flour. Add it to the sauce and stir until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  14. Add the mushrooms, and onions.
  15. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  16. Serve hot.
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