Coq au Vin is a classic chicken dish. Actually it was a way to cook old roosters way back when. The French name translates to rooster in wine. These days most of us only have access to regular chickens at the store but this still makes a great dish. It is time consuming but has such a wonderful flavor. I made this for the first time myself tonight for dinner and wanted to share with you. The recipe I have below is a bit of an amalgamation of multiple recipes I found online.
As you may recall, I’ve been working with Sanderson Farms for a few months now. Their roasting chicken is a great product to use for this dish if you are comfortable cutting up the chicken yourself. If not, you can also by Sanderson Farms chicken precut into the pieces you like. If you missed my previous recipes make sure to check them out: Grilled Beer Can Chicken, Chicken Piccata, Chicken Bento Box Lunch Ideas, and Microwave Chicken Bowls. Sanderson Farms is also running a Chicken Recipe Pinterest contest until 10/31/16 where you can win a $500 prize package. Our team is also hosting a #SandersonFarms Fall Comfort Food Twitter chat and Facebook Live event on 10/25 at 8pm ET with more prizes.
When preparing to make Coq au Vin I highly recommend prepping all of your ingredients before you start cooking. It just makes the process go so much easier. Wash your veggies, cut them up, get out your spices, etc.
Brining is something that really can help with chicken and turkey and such to stay moist and so much more flavorful during cooking. I brined my Sanderson Farms chicken overnight in a solution of water, salt, sugar, garlic and onion. Just rinse off and pat dry when you are ready to start cooking.
Now who doesn’t love a recipe that starts out with bacon? Yep, cut up some of your favorite bacon and render it down as the first step in the actual cooking process. You will remove the bacon and add it back in later, but the bacon fat is the fat you are going to use to cook more of your items in.
Many of the recipes called for fresh Cipollini onions or fresh pearl onions. You can use them if you like, however they are kind of annoying to peel. I instead buy a bag of frozen pearl onions and I don’t even thaw them before I use them in recipes. C&W brand is a great one to look for. Browning the pearl onions in the bacon fat makes your kitchen smell amazing instantly too. Remove the onions when browned and set aside with the rendered bacon.
Next up are the mushrooms. I adore mushrooms so very much. You can use whatever mix you like for this recipe, but I used half Shitake and half Crimini. Take the stems off the Shitake as they are pretty tough, then slice the caps. For the Crimini mushrooms I just quarter them. Throw them in the pot after you remove the onions. If you need more fat you can add oil or butter. Wait about 5 minutes to add salt and pepper to the mushrooms. Remove those as well and add to tray with bacon and onions – you can put all of this in the fridge for now.
Now you want to start browning all of your chicken pieces. For a full chicken, cut into pieces, you probably will need to do this in about 3 batches. Again, add oil and/or butter if you need more fat when you start. About 4 minutes per side on each piece of floured chicken should be enough. Just set it all aside as you brown it – it will cook more later.
Once all of your chicken pieces are browned and removed from the Dutch oven you will use about half of the bottle of Pinot Noir (red wine) to delgaze the pan. Add it while the pan is still very hot and scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon to get all those flavorful bits up and into the sauce. If you don’t want to use wine you could use chicken broth here. After a minute or two add in your tomato paste, celery, carrots, onion (the other quartered one, not the pearl onions), thyme, bay leaves, rest of the wine and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and stir well, add the chicken pieces back in, cover and place in the oven for about 2 hours. Stir every 45 minutes or so.
Once the chicken is done, remove from the Dutch oven and place on warming tray in the oven (turned off now). Strain the rest of the ingredients from the Dutch oven into a bowl. You can discard all of the solids (carrots, onions, thyme, bay, celery, garlic). Then pour the remaining strained sauce back into the Dutch oven and place on the stove on high to reduce by at least half. Once reduced, add in your reserved bacon, pearl onions and mushrooms you made earlier and cook another 15 minutes or so. Then add in your chicken pieces and serve over prepared egg noodles. A loaf of crusty French bread is also a great addition to this meal!
Have you ever had Coq au Vin? Have you ever made it? Is this something you might try making yourself and if so, what changes would you make?