For the Chicken Who has Everything… Coq au Vin

Chicken with Wine
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Coq au Vin

Coq Au Vin

During the holiday season, we tend to spend more time entertaining than at any other time.  I guess the holidays remind us of what is really important,  spending time with friends and family and showing them how much we appreciate them.   So why not try making this decadent Coq au Vin recipe and really impress them!

Coq au vin is the quintessential French dish.   But, despite its fancy name, it is a dish that is inexpensive to make, which makes it an obvious choice for a crowd.   Like most French recipes, this one has a few steps and requires a little extra time, but believe me,  it will be well worth the effort.    It has a robust, rich flavor that you will love.

Coq au Vin is â€śchicken with wine”.  Chicken soaked in red wine, then braised.  The rich sauce flavor comes from bacon, mushrooms, carrots, onion and of course the red wine!  You will want to soak up all that delicious sauce with the crusty bread slices, so definitely, don’t skip this step!

I used a dutch oven for this recipe because you can braise the chicken and make the sauce in the same pot, and the deep sides help to prevent splatter.  I also used a bit of cognac for the flambĂ© to add that special flavor, but any brandy will do.  The great thing about this recipe is the flavor is even better the second day, so if you are making this recipe for a party you can make it the day before.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

The Marinade:

  1. 3 lbs chicken (chicken thighs or breasts work well for this recipe) 
  2. 3 cups red wine (I used a dry, red, french table wine La Vieille Ferme)
  3.  2 tsp dried thyme 
  4. 1 bay leaf 
  5. 2 tsp kosher salt 
  6. Âľ tsp black pepper

For Braising:

  1. 1 cup chopped bacon or pancetta

Wine Sauce:

  1. 1 medium onion diced 
  2. 1 carrots finely diced 
  3. 2 minced garlic cloves 
  4. 2 cups mushrooms diced 
  5. 1 tsp tomato paste 
  6. 2 tbsp cognac ( or other brandy)
  7.  1 tbsp flour 
  8. reserved red wine marinade

Topping:

  1. 2 cups peeled pearl onions sliced in half
  2.  2 cups mushrooms sliced
  3.  1 tbsp butter 
  4. 2 tbsp olive oil

Crusty Toasts:

  1. 2 tbsp butter 
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil 
  3. kosher salt 
  4. ½ cup freshly chopped parsley
  5.  4 slices multigrain bread 

Marinating the Chicken

Chicken with salt and pepper
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  • Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place into a large plastic or glass container. 
red wine marinade
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  • Pour the red wine over chicken and then add thyme and bay leaf.
Coq au Vin marinade
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refrigerate chicken
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  • Place chicken in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, best if refrigerated overnight for the best flavor.
cooked pancetta
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Braising:

  • Saute the bacon on medium heat until crisp and set bacon aside, leaving bacon fat in the pan.
bacon
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Braised chicken
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  • Remove chicken from the marinade, set the marinade aside for the sauce.
  • Pat each piece of chicken with a paper towel until it is dry. 
Braised chicken
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  • On medium-high heat, cook all chicken in the bacon fat for about 4 minutes each side or until it is nicely browned, and then remove chicken from the pan.
Saute
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The Sauce:

  • Add chopped onion, carrot and chopped mushrooms to the same pan and saute until lightly browned, scraping the sides of the pan. 
add tomato paste
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  • add tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute
  • add 1 tbsp of flour and cook for another minute.
  • Push all the vegetables and sauce to one side of the pan.
Wine sauce
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  • Remove pan from heat, and add the 2 tbsps of cognac to the other side of pan and flambe until the flame goes out. ( refer to youtube link above for flambe directions)

* take extreme care when lighting the liquor, the alcohol vapors ignite immediately so keep your head and face away from the pan when lighting.

  • Replace pan back over medium heat and add the red wine marinade to the pot.
  • Bring sauce to a low simmer
Coq au vin
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  • Remove any skin from chicken if any and discard.
  • Add chicken to the sauce and half of the cooked bacon.
  • Cover pan and simmer for 1 hour.

Topping:

Pearl onions
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  • Melt butter in a saute pan and add the oil on medium heat.
  • Add onions and a pinch of sugar and salt and cover pan.
  • Cook for about 12 minutes.
Saute
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  • Push onions to one side of the pan and add mushrooms on the other side of pan and brown and toss together.
  • Place in a bowl. 
  • Wipe out saute pan

Crispy toasts
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Crispy Toast:

  • Chop parsley and place in small dish
  • Trim crusts off the bread and cut each slice into 2 triangles.
Crispy Toasts
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  • Melt butter and add olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add bread triangles and grill both sides until they are lightly browned.
  • Place on a plate and sprinkle with salt. 
Coq au Vin
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Putting it all together:

  • When chicken is done simmering, place one piece onto a dish or in a bowl with some of the sauce and vegetables.
  • Dip one corner of the toasted bread into the sauce and then dip into the chopped parsley.
  • Arrange the garnished toast over the chicken and add an extra sprinkle of parsley and the other half of the bacon bits over the top and serve.

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