Coq Au Vin

Prep Time: 2½ Hours
Yields: 6-8 Serving

This classic French braised chicken dish is normally made with an older rooster or a large baking hen, which allows for longer cooking time. Long braising ensures that the flavors of the meat, vegetables, spices and wine will fully infuse. This dish can be made with white or red wine; however, red is preferred. For best results, I always braise Coq Au Vin in the oven rather than on the stovetop.

6 large leg quarters OR whole baking hen
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
¾ cup flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ pound bacon, chopped
¼ cup cognac
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
12 garlic cloves, halved
12 pearl onions, peeled
3 cups Burgundy wine
3 cups beef stock or beef bouillon
1 tbsp tomato paste
18 button mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 cup demi-glace (optional)
2 tbsps chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup fresh or frozen early peas

Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a whole baking hen, cut into 6–8 serving pieces. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Season flour lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Dust chicken in flour, shaking off excess. In a large Dutch oven or roasting pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sauté bacon, stirring constantly until bacon fat is rendered, taking care not to burn oil. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon. In same pan, cook 3–4 pieces of chicken at a time 3–5 minutes on each side or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Once chicken is browned, deglaze with cognac taking care because it may ignite when it hits the pan. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add pearl onions and cook an additional 2–3 minutes. Blend wine and beef stock into vegetable mixture. Whisk tomato paste into simmering liquid. Return chicken pieces to pan. Add stock if necessary to cover chicken by ¼ inch. Add mushrooms and bay leaf. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and place in oven for 1½ hours. Check for tenderness, because age and size of bird will determine cooking time. Chicken should be fork tender, but not falling apart. When done, gently remove chicken from braising liquid and place on a sheet pan. Return braising liquid and vegetables to stovetop. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. If necessary, thicken sauce with 1–2 tablespoons dark brown roux. When sauce is thickened, adjust seasonings using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Add demi-glace. Blend in chocolate and peas. Simmer 10–12 minutes or until peas are tender. Return chicken to braising liquid and reheat. When ready to serve, place a portion of chicken in center of a soup bowl and top with sauce and braised vegetables.


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