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Coq au vin is the perfect meal on a cold winter evening.
Nothing says French Provincial cooking better than coq au vin. While it may sound fancy with the French name, all it is is a chicken stew.
Coq au vin is pretty easy to make too. It’s not a dish that should be reserved for special occasions either. In France, it’s an every-day meal.
It’s perfect for winter because it has a long-ish cook time if made conventionally or in the slow cooker. If you want it quickly, it’s easily converted to Instant Pot cooking too. It’s hearty and filling. It’s also inexpensive so it’s easy on the budget as well.
Where most who cook with wine usually use white wine when preparing chicken. Coq au vin is a bit unusual in that it uses red wine.
The choice of red is, of course, up to you. However, you’re best sticking with a full-bodied red that’s dry but not overly dry. Dessert wines won’t work here and likewise, I wouldn’t use an extra-dry wine like chianti. But of course if you like it, use it! I chose a Pinot Noir for this and it worked perfectly.
This dish can made with white wine. I think Mary Berry makes a coq au vin with white wine. I haven’t done this but it does sound interesting and yes, delicious. So if you’re out of red wine and only have white, by all means substitute it.
Traditionally, you use carrots, mushrooms and shallots in most recipes.
Since shallots are a bit pricy and you use a lot of them in this, I chose to use frozen pearl onions. They’re a lot cheaper and more importantly, are ready to use. You can, of course, use shallots if you want to do so. About 10-12 smallish ones will do. You can also use fresh small white boiling onions–they’re a pain to prep though. Where I’d like to tell you plain old yellow cooking onions would be good here, I can’t because they won’t. They’ll dissolve so you won’t get that nice textural thingy you would with the whole shallots or pearl onions.
Coq Au Vin
- 8 chicken pieces assorted thighs and drums
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup red wine I used Pinot Noir
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 3 sprigs thyme OR a good pinch of dry
- 14 oz frozen pearl onions
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 1 cup button mushrooms
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown chicken well on each side; remove and set aside.
- Saute the celery and garlic in the same pan for about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the wine, stirring constantly so no lumps form. Add the stock, pepper, thyme and baby carrots; stir. Place the chicken back in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Taste the pan juices and add any salt to taste. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Just by the name of this dish, I always thought that it would be much too difficult & ‘shmancey’ to make at home. It’s not that difficult at all! I know we’ll love it, especially since the recipe uses our favorite parts of the chicken, drumsticks & thighs. You’d be hard-pressed to find this dish on any restaurant menu nowadays. I still like the old classic dishes which my mom made, and which I grew up with, but no-one seems to make them anymore. IMO, they don’t know what they’re missing.
Judith Hanneman says
You are so right!!
Quick question – can this dish be cooked in a slow cooker on low say for 6 – 8 hours instead of a dutch oven? Just curious.
Judith Hanneman says
Sure! But add the mushrooms & onions during the last hour. I’d plan on 6 hrs on low–especially if you have a newer crockpot.