Coq au Vin

One of my favorite things about Sundays is that I usually have lots of time to spend in the kitchen, and I usually devote it to making a more time consuming dinner that wouldn’t quite work for a week night.  Coq au vin is a dish that I have had a few times before at friends’ houses, and have always enjoyed but up until now, I had never tried making it at home.  Finally I decided it was time to give it a shot, and it seemed just perfect for one of my Sunday evening endeavors.

I expected this to be good, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.  It reminded me quite a bit of the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, with tender flavorful chicken and rich sauce.  Of course this version has the added benefit of having vegetables cooked with the chicken as well, so it is a full meal in a pot (though, in a very full pot I might add!)  Ben and Andrew both loved this as well.  The only real change I made was to halve the recipe because unlike Ina, I don’t typically feed an army so one chicken was more than enough to meet our needs.  Be sure to cut into the largest piece of chicken to check for doneness – I needed to bake mine quite a bit longer than the recipe indicated.

Coq au Vin
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1 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. bacon or pancetta, diced
1 chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Cognac or brandy
½ bottle dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
A few fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 275° F.  Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Once the bacon has been removed from the pot, add a few of the chicken pieces in a single layer, and brown for about 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides evenly.  Remove the chicken pieces to the plate with the bacon and repeat with the remaining chicken in batches until all of it is browned.  Set aside.

Add the carrots, onions, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the pot.  Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the Cognac, stand back and cook for a few minutes, until most of the alcohol has cooked off.  Put the bacon, chicken, and any juices on the plate back into the pot.  Add the wine, chicken broth, and thyme springs.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is just no longer pink.  Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.

Mash the 1 tablespoon of the butter and the flour together in a small bowl, and stir the paste into the stew.  In a medium sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until browned.  Add to the stew.  Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.  Season to taste.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

11 Responses

  1. I have the same problem … most of the time I’m just cooking for two! But leftovers are the BEST! I’m sure this would make EXCELLENT leftovers – looks delish!

  2. Yum. I’ve been wanting to get Ina’s newest book…but sadly, haven’t yet. Maybe I need to write a letter to Santa!

  3. Looks great, Annie. Thanks for the tip about longer cooking time. I do find that Ina’s recipes for whole chickens are always quite a bit short on time.

  4. I recently had coq au vin at a local French restaurant an fell in love with it. I have yet to make it at home but I definitely should. This looks great….yum!

  5. I totally agree about cooking more time intensive meals on Sunday night! It’s one of my favorite parts of most weekends, and I can’t wait to be done with school and working weekends so it can become our regular routine again. I just told my husband the other day that I needed to make more recipes from this cookbook! I’m thinking over Christmas break will be the perfect time to try it out. Chicken w/ 40 cloves is so awesome, and adding veggies for a 1-pot meal sounds like a perfect situation!

  6. you have a gorgeous site here! and your coq au vin is perfection!

  7. i made this for my friends tonight, just substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon, and it was a huge hit! your blog is absolutely amazing!

  8. Annie,
    Do you think I could substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts? If so, should I change the cooking time at all? Thanks!

    • Laura,
      Of course you can make any substitution you wish, but I wouldn’t recommend it in this recipe. I think the skin and bones help add more flavor to the dish, and fat to the sauce to help make it rich and delicious. I think it would fall flat with boneless skinless chicken breasts.

  9. Okay, thanks!

  10. I stumbled upon your website the other day and spent ALL day at work looking at everything. I made this today and it was delicious! I also made your caramel apple cheesecake pie today and can’t wait to cut into it tomorrow! Thank you for your wonderful site.

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