I promised you plenty of perfect wine recipes for fall, and I plan on keeping that promise. I love classic, slow-cooked dishes (if you missed our Bouef Bourgignon post, check it out now), so today the Vintage Cellars blog is bringing you another French favorite: Coq au vin.
Coq au vin couldn't be simpler: a chicken braised slowly with wine and vegetables, until everything is tender, flavorful, and oh-so-comforting. Coq au vin is sometimes thought of as a fancy restaurant dish, but the reality is that it's a basic one-pot dinner (well, except for a separate saucepan for the mushrooms in this recipe--but they taste best cooked separately!). It's perfect for a weeknight meal with the family or a leisurely Sunday dinner with friends.
The best part of this dish: the wine, of course! Coq au vin is typically made with Burgundy, but you can use any kind of red wine that you like: cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, beaujolais, and zinfandel are great choices. Just remember that the deeper and richer the flavor of the wine, the deeper and richer the resulting sauce will be.
There are many different methods for preparing Coq au vin, some more traditional than others. This isn't a particularly traditional recipe, but it's exceedingly delicious. And what more could you want in a recipe? Serve it with crusty bread, a green salad, and the wine you used in the cooking: fall-weather happiness awaits.
1 whole chicken in pieces
4 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 lb. carrots, chopped into large pieces
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
2 Tbp. garlic, minced
1/2 bottle red wine
1-2 cups chicken stock (low sodium is best)
1 bunch fresh thyme (about 8-12 sprigs)
2 Tbps each of butter and flour (for the roux)
1/2 lb. peeled pearl onions (use frozen, already peeled ones for convenience)
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
Heat a splash of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, ovenproof pot. Brown the bacon pieces until they are crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon to a different plate.
Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and season it liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in batches. Make sure to get the chicken really brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes on each side, or the color will wash off in the braise. Remove the chicken as it's done and set aside with the bacon.
Add the carrots and onions to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and slightly browned. Add the garlic at the last minute or so of cooking.
Turn the stove up to high and add the wine. Deglaze the pan, boiling the wine and swirling and scraping the bottom until all the delicious brown bits are loosened from the bottom and incorporated into the sauce. Add the thyme, chicken stock, chicken and bacon. Cover the pot and put in a 250-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is just done.
Remove the pot from the oven and put back on the stove. Add the onions. Mix together the flour and butter (making a roux) and whisk into the sauce. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in butter until tender and browned, then add them to the pot. Season to taste. Enjoy!!