One of my favorite things about Sundays is that I usually have lots of time to spend in the kitchen, and I usually devote it to making a more time consuming dinner that wouldn’t quite work for a week night. Coq au vin is a dish that I have had a few times before at friends’ houses, and have always enjoyed but up until now, I had never tried making it at home. Finally I decided it was time to give it a shot, and it seemed just perfect for one of my Sunday evening endeavors.
I expected this to be good, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. It reminded me quite a bit of the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, with tender flavorful chicken and rich sauce. Of course this version has the added benefit of having vegetables cooked with the chicken as well, so it is a full meal in a pot (though, in a very full pot I might add!) Ben and Andrew both loved this as well. The only real change I made was to halve the recipe because unlike Ina, I don’t typically feed an army so one chicken was more than enough to meet our needs. Be sure to cut into the largest piece of chicken to check for doneness – I needed to bake mine quite a bit longer than the recipe indicated.
Coq au Vin
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. bacon or pancetta, diced
1 chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Cognac or brandy
½ bottle dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
A few fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 275° F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper. Once the bacon has been removed from the pot, add a few of the chicken pieces in a single layer, and brown for about 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides evenly. Remove the chicken pieces to the plate with the bacon and repeat with the remaining chicken in batches until all of it is browned. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the pot. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back and cook for a few minutes, until most of the alcohol has cooked off. Put the bacon, chicken, and any juices on the plate back into the pot. Add the wine, chicken broth, and thyme springs. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is just no longer pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash the 1 tablespoon of the butter and the flour together in a small bowl, and stir the paste into the stew. In a medium sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten