Coq Au Vin
My first taste of Coq Au Vin was at a restaurant called, what else, Le Coq. They closed a few years ago and I wept because it was a favorite. Coq Au Vin is considered a classic example of French cuisine, a favorite of Julia Child and considered one of her signature dishes.
Directly translated the name means rooster with wine, but I have never seen packaged chicken at the grocery labeled by gender. Practically speaking you don’t know which you have, and for that reason a friend scolded me when I announced we were having rooster with wine. Regardless, I refuse to call it poulet au vin.
Craving some coq au vin, I did my due diligence and practiced, and practiced until I ended up with this recipe. It’s far better than what was served at Le Coq and was the main course for my French dinner party.
It’s a three day process but don’t fret. Day one is marinating the chicken and day three is just warming it up. Get ready and go!
- Yield: 4-8 1x
- 8 pieces of chicken, 4 legs and 4 thighs
- (1) 750 ml bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir
- 1 large yellow onion – sliced into 1/4” pieces
- 2 celery ribs – sliced into 1/4” pieces
- 1 large carrot – peeled and sliced
- 2 TBL olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove – smashed
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Cooking the Chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 4 TBL olive oil – divided
- 1/2 lb slab bacon – sliced into 2” pieces
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 TBL AP flour
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth – brown broth if available
- 16 pearl onions – peeled
- 1 lb small cremini mushrooms – halved
- 2 TBL chopped parsley
- 8 sprigs parsley for garnish
Marinating the Chicken
- Combine the wine, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and peppercorns in a large pot
- Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce to medium and simmer for 5 minutes
- Cool completely then mix in the olive oil
- Pat the chicken dry then place in a large glass bowl. Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken and gently turn or stir to ensure the chicken is well coated.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 day, turning the chicken once or twice to thoroughly marinate.
Cooking the Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- Tie the parsley stems, bay leaves and thyme together in cheesecloth and set aside
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on paper towels to drain
- Strain the marinade. Reserve the liquid and vegetables separately
- Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and saute the bacon until crisp and browned 6-8 minutes
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towels
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper
- Add 1 TBL of oil to the bacon grease and increase heat to medium high. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides about 6-8 minutes per batch. Set the chicken aside.
- Add another TBL of oil to the pan and add the celery, carrot, onion, peppercorns and garlic. Saute until softened, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat evenly
- Stir in the wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add chicken pieces and the herb bundle, nestling them into the vegetables
- Cover the dutch oven and bake in the oven until tender, about 1-1/4 hours
- While the chicken is cooking, heat 1 TBL olive oil in a large skillet and saute the pearl onions about 8-10 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper and set aside with the bacon.
- Heat the remaining TBL of olive oil in the skillet and saute the mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside with the bacon and onions.
- Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven – it will be heavy and hot!
- Remove the chicken to a large bowl. Strain the sauce, discarding the vegetables and herbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce.
- Gently combine the sauce, bacon, onions and mushrooms, then pour over the chicken. Gently fold with a spatula to fully coat each piece of chicken.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to thoroughly meld
Serving the following day
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees
- Gently return the chicken and sauce to your dutch oven
- Reheat at 225 degrees for 2 hours then remove and finish on your stove top on low heat until ready to serve
- Plate over brown butter egg noodles and garnish with fresh sprig of parsley