Coq Au Vin Recipe
Coq au vin, or chicken in wine, is a lovely, comforting dish for fall. Once the initial prep work is completed, this dish is mostly hands off, left to gently simmer on the stove top.
As with most braises and stews, this recipe is a guideline, easily adapted to your own taste. There are as many versions of coq au vin as there are people who’ve made it — follow the basic method and trust your instincts. Each ingredient is meant to increase the depth of flavor, so adjust the ingredients to your own palate. I’m not a fan of pearl onions, for instance, so I used a combination of leeks, shallots and onions. Feel free to use the more traditional pearl onion in your dish if that is your preference.
Be mindful to use a wine that you would want to drink from a glass — it will be the underlying flavor of the dish.I like Côtes du Rhone or Pinot Noir.
This is a great dish if you don’t like last minute fussing before company comes. Make it the day before and let the flavors mellow and improve. Gently reheat on the stove top before serving. Coq au vin is delicious with roasted potatoes or over egg noodles.
Time: 1 1/2 hours
1/2 cup bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 – 4 pounds chicken (legs or a whole, separated chicken with bones)
1/4 cup Brandy or Cognac
1 cup diced onion (or peeled pearl onions or shallots, leeks or white onion)
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (white button or cremini are nice) or 1/4 dried wild mushrooms (submerge in boiling water to rehydrate, after 15 minutes, drain and coarsely chop)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs flour
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup, approximately, chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven, or a deep, heavy bottomed pot, sauté bacon over medium-high heat until fat renders and bacon is crispy. Remove bacon, set on paper towel to drain.
- Add a bit of neutral oil to the pot if necessary and then add chicken pieces, skin side down. Work in batches as to no overcrowd the pan. Cook until chicken is nicely browned on all sides, around 10 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add the Brandy or Cognac and stir around the pan, scraping up the flavorful nuggets leftover from browning. Allow the liquid to cook down a bit, two or three minutes, to burn off the alcohol.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add onions to pan and sauté until soft. Add garlic and stir continually so nothing burns.
- Stir in carrots. They’ll need a few minutes to cook, stirring now and then to sauté evenly.
- Add tomato paste, flour, mushrooms, bay leaf and Herbes de Provence. Stir to combine well.
- Pour in wine then carefully return bacon and chicken to pot. The chicken should be mostly submerged, about 3/4 covered. If not, add stock or broth.
- Cover pot and allow to simmer. Start checking on the chicken after 20 minutes. It will probably need 30, maybe 40 minutes, but the beauty of braising is that as long as there’s still enough liquid in the pot, you won’t overcook.
- Once chicken is ready (juices should run clear, not pink, when pierced), carefully (it’s hot!) taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Coq au Vin will taste even better the second day. Gently reheat on the stove top. Be sure to remove the bay leaf. A sprinkling of parsley will aesthetically brighten up the dish for serving.
- Bon Appétit!
Enjoy this classic French Recipe. Our chefs love to make this dish for our guests while they stay at one of our Provence luxury villas.