CHARLOTTE – Hailing from Burgundy, France- Coq au Vin was originally documented in the 1800s but has undocumented origins to Julius Caesar. It was generally considered a peasant dish, sometimes even referred to as “poulet au vin blanc” or translated, chicken with white wine. When I attended Culinary School- this is one of two classical French dishes that you were tested on- the other is Beef Bourguignon (lookout for this recipe). Chefs like Julia Child, Joel Robuchon and Jacques Pepin have all made this dish famous in years past. This recipe adds the flavor of carrots and potatoes to make a more complete dish and this version is simple to make yet has the classic flavors in which paired with crusty bread, European butter and good wine can make taste memories. Now put on some provincial French music and make some memories! Enjoy~
Coq au Vin (yields 4-6 servings)
Prep Time: 25 Minutes | On the Table: 75 Minutes
6 Chicken Thighs- bone in | 6 Chicken Drumsticks | 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup Chicken Stock | 4 strips Applewood Smoked Bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ small Onion, julienne | 4 medium Carrots, cut a 1-inch piece
12 Fingerling Potatoes, halved | 1 tablespoon minced Garlic- fresh
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste | 3 Roma Tomatoes, cut into 1/8ths
2 teaspoons thyme, fresh minced | 2 Bay Leaves
8 ounces Cremini Mushrooms, quartered | 8 ounces Pearl onions, fresh peeled
4 tablespoon Butter | ¾ cup AP Flour
Sea Salt and Fresh Milled Pepper | gallon size zip lock bag
In a stainless steel bowl, place the thighs and drums, along with the red wine and chicken stock. (If at all possible- let marinate for 60 minutes) Place in your cooler and cover. While the chicken is getting sauced- prep your vegetables and place them aside.
NOW- in a large skillet or braiser pan, over medium heat, place your 1” bacon strips into the pan and cook until semi crispy. Remove bacon from the pan, but keep the bacon grease inside the pan and TURN OFF THE HEAT! At this point preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Very important part… Remove the chicken from the marinade (save the marinade) and pat dry with paper towels. In a gallon size zip lock bag, add the flour and season it with 10 turns of fresh milled salt and pepper, or 2 teaspoons and 1 teaspoon of fine ground black pepper- (if you don’t have a pepper mill, it makes a great gift to yourself…). Place the dried-off chicken into the bag of seasoned flour, seal and hold tight, do your best Tom Cruise “Cocktail” shake for 1 minute- for the millennials out there- do the Carlton dance from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and coat well.
Now turn up the heat in your pan to medium high and add in the butter. Carefully sear the outside of the chicken to a rusty brown color and quickly remove it from the heat. Now quickly back again, over MEDIUM heat, add in your carrots, pearl onions, potatoes, and mushrooms and sauté to get some of the flavors from the bacon-butter goodness. Sauté for around 5 minutes, or until you get some caramelization on the carrots and pearl onions. Now add in the julienne onions, garlic, thyme, a few turns of sea salt and pepper and your tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and coat with the tomatoey-vegetable mixture. Pour in your marinade over top, add in your bay leaves, your Roma tomatoes that have been cut into 1/8ths. Slowly stir the mixture for 1 minute- cover and bring to a simmer and stir again for 1 minute once at a simmer.
Cover and place your oven for 30 minutes. After the timer has rung, remove it from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Place on a large platter and garnish with the crispy bacon lardons on top. Serve with crusty bread, a nice greens salad, and some good wine! Share meals together, Food is Life, Food is Love!
Chef Glenn is a corporate chef based in Waxhaw- please send any feedback to email@example.com