Since last fall I have been craving the classic comfort French dish Coq au Vin. So this past weekend I finally decided to create my own version of this traditional dish. There are so many recipes out there for this dish, so I checked out the basics from some of my favorite chefs including Ina Garten and Julia Child.
I found some ideas while searching the many recipes that seemed to be left out of others. First I found that it seems that most recipes don’t marinade the chicken while a few classic old versions do. So I decided to take marinade the chicken in a full bottle of Pinot Noir from a great Sonoma winery, Pangloss Cellars (if you have not visited it’s a must the tasting room is beautiful).
Next I thought the basic onion and carrots were boring. I used great fresh organic carrots and one yellow onion. I then added 2 leeks sliced and cleaned as well as 2 shallots. The leeks gave more flavor as well as giving more texture to the finished stew. The shallots gave more depth with their garlicky onion flavor.
Just like Ina Garten I added the mushrooms at the end so that they kept their texture and shape but I did change it up slightly. I used a combination of small baby cremini mushrooms so that I didn’t have to cut them up. I also used little shiitake mushrooms and once they are sautéed they have a meaty texture that is perfect in this dish.
As most people I’m watching my carbs and so the question was what should I serve this stew with? The classic would be to have mash potatoes or egg noodles, but I thought why not serve with a tangy cauliflower and parsnip mash! This puree has great flavor and is super simple!
I served this up to some great friends and we were all amazed at how succulent and juicy the chicken became. I think the marinating really added so much to the chicken and made for this simple dish to be extraordinary! Give it a try!
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin removed
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 10 ounces bacon, ½ a package, diced
- olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 bunch organic carrots, peeled, sliced on the angle ¾ inch thick
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup cognac or brandy
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh thyme, (6 sprigs) tied into bundle
- 1-tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on chicken
- ½ tablespoon fresh ground pepper, and more for on chicken
- 1 bottle good Pinot Noir
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ pound small shiitake mushrooms*
- 1 pound small cremini mushrooms*
- Start by taking the chicken and cutting each breast into two pieces. Combine all the chicken in a bowl and pour the entire bottle of wine over the chicken. Add bay leaf and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure chicken is fully immersed. Place in fridge for at least 5 hours or over night!
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- In a large Dutch oven add a glug of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the bacon and cook until just crisp about 10 minutes.
- While the bacon cooks remove the chicken pieces from the wine, reserve the wine. With paper towels dry off each piece of chicken and then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- When the bacon is done remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a large plate or bowl. Now add 4 pieces of chicken at a time, those with skin, go skin side down. Brown each piece for about 4 minutes, flipping to make sure both sides are golden. Lower heat if they start to burn. Remove chicken to plate with bacon. Continue with remaining chicken pieces.
- Once chicken is all browned and removed to plate, add in the carrot, onion, shallots, and leeks. Toss to get coated in the bacon drippings and add in the salt and pepper. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes until everything starts to be browned and translucent. Add in garlic and stir in.
- Now add the cognac or brandy into the vegetable mixture and gently light it. This will burn off the alcohol and it’s always fun to flambé! Be careful though!
- Once the flames die down, stir and add back in the chicken and the bacon. Add the bundle of thyme, the broth and the reserved wine marinade. Bring mixture just to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven for an hour.
- While the chicken cooks, combine the flour and butter in a bowl and with a fork mash them together.
- Remove pot from oven and stir the flour paste into pan. Stir and this will thicken the sauce.
- In a large sauté pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the mushrooms, until they are golden and have released their juices. Season with salt and pepper, add to the stew and stir.
- *Serve with cauliflower parsnip puree, garlic mash potatoes, or egg noodles, garnish with parsley.
- *If you cannot find small bite size mushrooms normal sizes are fine, just slice them.
- *I like to make this and have it ready before my guests arrive and gently reheat right before serving.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 parsnips
- ½ stick of butter
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut cauliflower into to florets. Peel the parsnips and dice them into 1-inch chunks.
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and parsnips and boil gently for about 10 minutes or until just tender.
- Drain and pulse cauliflower and parsnips in food processor until pureed. Move to a bowl and mix in diced butter and season with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm over a pot of simmering water until ready to serve.