Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Recipe: Coq au Vin

It's otherwise known as "chicken cooked in red wine". This recipe started as a compilation of my mom's research into various recipes, and I've then made a few adjustments myself. It's been very popular with others when I've made it, so I'll pass it along.

If you aren't serving a large number of people, package it up into smaller portions and freeze for when you need something quickly.


  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • ¼ lb. bacon or salt pork
  • 1 head celery, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped or julienned
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, washed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes OR dice 3-4 medium fresh tomatoes
  • 750 ml red wine
  • Bay leaf
  • Herbs for seasoning
Step One

Brown chicken pieces in olive oil. Sprinkle with flour, then remove from pan.
Cook the bacon in the chicken grease. Remove from the pan.

Saute the celery, onion, shallots, carrots, and garlic in the chicken and bacon grease. Cook until the onions are translucent. Pour ¼ bottle of red wine into the pan to loosen any of “the bits” in the pan. If you’ve used a non-stick pan, you’re basically just rinsing the pan.

Step Two
I put it in the oven, mom has successfully put a smaller portion in the crockpot, so finish cooking with whatever method works for your schedule and size of cooking vessel.

Put browned chicken in lasagna pan, Dutch Oven, or crock pot. Crumble the bacon over the chicken. Add your sautéed vegetables. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, bay leaf, and herbs. Use fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme if you have it. Otherwise, dried herbs are just fine. I tend to just use a few tablespoons of Herbes de Provence.

Pour ½ bottle of red wine over the whole dish. That leaves enough for 2 glasses of wine to go with the meal. If you don’t want to drink the wine, pour it into the pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ½-2 hours until chicken pulls easily from the bone. (3-4 hours if using a modern crockpot)

Step Three
Remove bay leaf and fresh herbs. Serve with mashed potatoes, salad, and baguette.

It doesn’t seem to matter what quality of wine you use. I’ve found it as cheaply as $3/bottle on a sale.

I enjoy deboning the chicken and shredding it into the vegetables rather than serving it with the bones. This is generally easier to do when putting away leftovers, however, as it is not so hot.

The finished product might have a lot of liquid. Either thicken it up with a little cornstarch, or just enjoy the juice. It also makes a nice stew if you’ve removed the bones.

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