Coq Au Vin
Coq au Vin is a classic French dish of braising chicken with wine, mushrooms, garlic and bacon. You can use bacon or pancetta, it’s a win-win either way, right? Julia Child helped make this dish increasingly popular in the United States, it was often thought of as one of her signature dishes. Red wine, specifically Red Burgundy is typically used, although you could always try it with a different varietal if you want.
You could definitely describe this as a rustic, yet elegant dish, ultimate comfort food. If you prepare it for guests, they will definitely be impressed with all of the flavors and the presentation. The beauty of it is that it looks much more difficult than it is. It is actually pretty easy, if you plan ahead and follow the steps. Your house will smell great, warm and inviting. Make it ahead and you’re ready to enjoy and relax with your family and friends.
Coq Au Vin
Coq au Vin, the classic French dish of chicken braised
- 1 Whole Chicken Cut into pieces
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Cups Red Wine
- 4 Oz. Pancetta Can Substitute Bacon
- 8 Oz. Cremini Mushrooms Quartered
- 4 Carrots Chopped into 2" chunks, on a bias
- 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Brandy Cognac can be substituted
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter room temp
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley Chopped
- Preheat oven to 250F and position rack to center, you probably need to remove the top rack so your dutch oven will fit with the lid on. Cut up a whole chicken into pieces or us legs, thighs and breasts (cut in half). Marinate chicken pieces in a ziplock bag with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and red wine. Let that marinate at least one hour while you prep the other ingredients. If you can marinate a few hours, even better. I noticed a big difference in the flavor of the dish by adding this step. Meanwhile, dice the pancetta and prepare the veggies. Quarter the mushrooms, cut the carrots into a 2" chunk on a bias and mince the garlic.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add EVOO. Cook the pancetta until lightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Remove chicken from the wine marinade and reserve the wine. Pat chicken completely dry, salt and pepper on all sides. Cook chicken for about 4 minutes on each side, leaving it undisturbed to get a nice sear. I cooked it in stages, 4 pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding and steaming the chicken. After the chicken is brown on all sides, remove and place on a rack while you cook the veggies.
- Add the quartered mushrooms to the same dutch oven and sauce over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they lose their water and begin to brown. Add the carrots and pearl onions to lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic for one more minute and turn off heat.
- Add cognac or brandy and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Turn heat back on to high to burn off alcohol, or light with a long stick match and stand back. If you choose to do this, make sure the heat is off completely. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly. Add the wine, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the remaining fresh thyme leaves, bay leaves and about 3/4 of the cooked pancetta, reserving some to garnish at the end. Add the chicken stock and the pieces back to the pot (all but breasts, hold this aside so they don't get overcooked and stringy). Make sure tops of chicken pieces are not submerged to braise. Bring to a simmer and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
- Next flip each piece of chicken over and add in chicken breasts. Cover and place back in the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes or until chicken breasts are just cooked through.
- When it is done, move back to stovetop. Remove chicken to a large platter. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Mix room temp butter with flour and combine completely. Swirl it into the sauce to thicken it a little and give it a beautiful sheen. At this point, you can taste for seasoning. The pancetta is salty, so be sure to wait until the end to do this. Spoon the sauce and veggies over the top of the chicken and sprinkle each serving with some fresh chopped parsley and reserved pancetta.
I like to serve this over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes or pappardelle noodles to soak up all the flavors and juices.