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Coq au Vin

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Coq au Vin is a classic French dish known for its rich flavors and tender chicken cooked in red wine with mushrooms, onions, and bacon. This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a special gathering. Here’s a detailed recipe to help you recreate this iconic French dish at home.


Ingredients:

For the Coq au Vin:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or use 4-6 chicken thighs and drumsticks)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red wine (preferably Burgundy or Pinot Noir)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bouquet garni (bundle of fresh thyme, parsley, and bay leaf tied together with kitchen twine)
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

For Garnish (optional):

  • Pearl onions, peeled and blanched
  • Chopped fresh parsley

For Serving:

  • Mashed potatoes or crusty bread

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Chicken:

  1. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the diced bacon or pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.

2. Brown the Chicken:

  1. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side down, in batches if necessary, and brown them on all sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.

3. Saute the Aromatics:

  1. In the same pot, add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

4. Deglaze the Pot:

  1. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, and bouquet garni. Stir to combine.

5. Simmer the Coq au Vin:

  1. Return the chicken and bacon to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

6. Cook the Mushrooms:

  1. In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the quartered mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the bouquet garni from the pot of Coq au Vin and discard.
  4. Add the cooked mushrooms to the pot and stir gently to combine.

7. Thicken the Sauce (Optional):

  1. If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix the flour with a bit of water to form a slurry.
  2. Gradually stir the slurry into the simmering Coq au Vin, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

8. Serve:

  1. Serve the Coq au Vin hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley and pearl onions if desired.
  2. Accompany with mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Conclusion: Coq au Vin is a timeless French dish that brings together tender chicken, savory bacon, earthy mushrooms, and a rich red wine sauce. This recipe captures the essence of French cuisine and is perfect for a comforting and satisfying meal at home. Enjoy this hearty dish with loved ones and savor the flavors of this classic preparation. Bon appétit!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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