Coq Au Vin, Chicken Stew With a French Attitude

This recipe for Coq Au Vin is one of my husband’s favorite dishes.

It’s basically a French chicken stew with bacon and red wine, and can be served over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

It’s pretty easy to make, and the length of time it takes really depends on you. If you have the time and inclination, you can marinate the chicken overnight in the wine, and/or let it braise in a slow cooker. Or do it on the stove, only one pot to clean. You can easily make this for a crowd, just increase everything proportionately. This serves about 4 people. Cooking time 1 hour, plus optional marinating time.

Coq Au Vin

  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • flour, salt and pepper for dredging the chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon (or use an end), cut into 1/2″ strips (lardons)
  • 1 bottle decent red wine (if you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it, we use a basic Cotes de Rhone)
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons Cognac (optional, but use it)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (buy the tubes, then you don’t wonder what to do with the rest of the can)
  • 8 ounces button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions (trust me it’s easier than peeling fresh ones)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (optional)

If you want to marinate the chicken, put it and enough red wine to cover it, in covered dish, or Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Don’t panic if it’s a weird shade of purple the next day, it’s just the wine. The next day, remove it from the marinade, toss the marinade, and pat the chicken dry.

If you’re not marinating the chicken,  pat it dry. Heat the olive oil in a big saute pan, or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crispy about 5 minutes.  When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan, and put it on paper towels to drain. Raise the heat to medium high. While the bacon is cooking, pour enough flour to dredge the chicken into a shallow bowl, mix in salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, and shake off the excess. Brown it in the olive oil/bacon fat on both sides (start skin side down), about 5 minutes a side. Depending on your pan, you may have to do this in batches.

When the chicken is browned, add the rest of the wine, the cognac, and about a cup of chicken broth. You want the wine and broth to come about 2/3 of the way up the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste until mixed in. Add the bacon, mushrooms, onions, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook over low heat for about an hour until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.

If you’re using a slow cooker, when the chicken is browned, add it, the bacon, mushrooms, onions, spices, wine, cognac, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook over low heat.

This is optional, but it intensifies the sauce. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, and put it on a platter tented with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the sauce to a boil. The longer you boil it, the more it will reduce, and intensify the flavor. When it gets to a consistency and taste you like, add the chicken back in, serve and enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.