Coq Au Vin (literally “rooster in red wine”) is one of the most famous French dishes and a beloved comfort food from the Burgundy region. It was originally considered peasant food, although it was taken to new heights in the United States when Julia Child featured Coq Au Vin in her 1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Standard recipes for Coq Au Vin call for chicken, Burgundy, salt pork, button mushrooms, boiling onions, garlic, and sometimes cognac. In my version, I decided to add a touch of Dijon mustard in the sauce, and used bacon instead of salt pork. Add a tossed green salad and some crusty bread and you will have a grand meal for your guests.
Start by crisping the bacon over medium heat. You want to render the fat while careful not to burn the bacon. The chicken is then cooked in the leftover drippings in the pan, imparting unbelievable flavor and richness to the dish.
In this dish, I like choose small, bite-size mushrooms rather than slicing larger ones. When kept whole, I think they look beautiful in the completed dish. (Hint: I try to pick out ones that are about the same size as the boiling onions.)
The recipe calls for the broth to be reduced to 1 cup. Remember, a 14 1/2 oz can is just under 2 cups. When you turn the heat to high and boil the broth, watch for it to reduce approximately in half.
The key to this recipe is building layer upon layer of flavor. Be sure to loosen all the delicious little browned bits from the bottom of the pan before you add the chicken.
Julia Child once said, “I love cooking with wine – sometimes I even put it in the food!” When selecting a bottle for Coq au Vin, I suggest using your favorite dry red wine. While the dish is simmering, make Julia proud and pour yourself a glass. I consider this step an essential part of proper French cooking!
This version of Coq au Vin simmers on the stovetop, while others finish their cooking in the oven. Either way, the KitchenAid® Gas Range provides even heat and gives you perfectly delicious results. I love how I can control the flame on the stovetop and allow the dish to simmer without worrying that it will boil over.
Preparing this recipe is like taking a trip to the French countryside. Your kitchen will be filled with the irresistible aroma of a quaint bistro. There’s no need to be afraid of French cooking or intimidated by this classic dish. In the end, it is an easy one-pot meal that is sure to become a go-to favorite!
Coq Au Vin
Makes 4 Servings
4 pieces chicken with thigh and leg attached, about 3 pounds total
1/3 pound bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
10 frozen small white boiling onions
1/2 pound small whole mushrooms
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth (or 1 3/4 cup homemade broth)
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Garnish: Additional fresh thyme sprigs
Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels; set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving drippings in pan. Add chicken pieces to pan without crowding, and cook, turning, until browned on all sides.
Remove chicken pieces and set aside. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until browned. Add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated. Remove onions and mushrooms and set aside.
Add chicken broth to pan, turn heat to high and boil broth until reduced to 1 cup, scraping the bottom of pan often to loosen the browned bits. Add the wine and mustard to reduced liquid and browned bits in pan and stir.
Add the chicken, onions, mushrooms, and 2 thyme sprigs to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is no longer pink when cut at the thigh bone, about 30 minutes or until the liquid is thickened.
Stir in the cooked bacon pieces and return to a simmer. Skim off and discard any fat accumulation, if needed. Remove thyme sprigs.
Transfer the chicken pieces and vegetables to a serving platter and pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and serve.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*