Coq au vin is a classic French dish of chicken cooked in red wine, a surprisingly easy way to make delectable chicken. I consulted recipes from several sources to make this one.
Tip: Blanch the Bacon
One tip in particular from Julia Child is to blanch the bacon slices first. We didn't do this the first time we made it and the result was almost too salty. So, next time we blanched the bacon. It removes some of the saltiness from the bacon before you cook with it.
What Does Coq au Vin Mean?
A literal translation of coq au vin is "rooster in wine," although you'll often see it translated as "chicken in wine." A traditional coq au vin is made with rooster, but they aren't easy to come by at the grocery store, so this recipe uses chicken legs.
Do I Need to Blanch the Bacon?
In short, no. French bacon isn't smoked, while American bacon is. Blanching the bacon not only removes some of its saltiness; it washes away the smoky flavor, making the overall flavor of the dish more authentically French. But if you love the smoky essence bacon imparts to dishes, you can skip blanching it.
What Tools Do I Need to Make This Chicken Dish?
The most important tool to have for making coq au vin is a Dutch oven with a lid. A 6-quart Dutch oven will work best with this recipe. Since this recipe doesn't require any cooking time in oven, the Dutch oven does not have to be oven proof.
Is Coq au Vin Good the Next Day?
Yes, coq au vin is delicious the next day. Like many stews, coq au vin improves on day two as its flavors to meld together.
Store coq au vin covered in the refrigerator for up to five days. Bring to a boil in the stove , then simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to cook until the chicken is just heated through.
Freeze coq au vin in an airtight freezer safe container or freezer safe zip top bag for up to 3 months. Defrost it in the refrigerator.
Simple Sides to Serve with Coq au Vin
- Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes with Chives
- Simple Peas and Onions
- Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables
- Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
- Leeks Vinaigrette
Coq au Vin
- 8 ounces sliced bacon
- 4 pounds chicken quarters (legs with thighs attached), excess fat trimmed
- 20 peeled pearl onions or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, Burgundy, or zinfandel)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh parsley sprigs
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced or quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Blanch the bacon:
To remove some of its saltiness, drop the bacon into a saucepan with enough cold water to cover it by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, then drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by 1/4-inch pieces.
Brown the bacon:
Heat a Dutch oven large enough to hold the chicken on medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook them until browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked bacon and set aside.
Brown the chicken and onions:
Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season all sides with salt and pepper.
Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, skin side down, to the hot pan. Brown the chicken well on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Add the onions and garlic and cook a few minutes more. Spoon off any excess fat from the pot.
Add chicken stock, wine, herbs, bacon, then simmer:
Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. (A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should register at least 165°F.)
Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, and garlic, and discard.
Make a sauce with mushrooms:
Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and increase the heat to high. Boil quickly to reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy.
Finish the sauce and serve the stew:
Lower the heat, then stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with the sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve with potatoes, or over egg noodles.