2 Hour Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is perhaps one of the most famous French comfort foods in the United States. Coq Au Vin is literally translated as “Cock and Wine,” and was originally developed by French Farmer’s wives as a way to use an old Rooster that had outlied it’s usefulness. Like most French food, it is surprisingly easy to make; you probably already have all the skills necessary to make a good tasting Coq Au Vin.

Coq Au Vin is basically chicken sautéed with cured pork fat and braised with wine, onions and mushrooms. Oer the past couple of years I have been experimenting with this very basic recipe and finally stumbled on a method that worked well for me and yielded a result that I enjoyed very much.

Some of my early attempts gave me versions of Coq Au vine that tasted a little too strongly of wine in my opinion. With this version I used only enough wine to cover the chicken. I added about a cup of chicken stock, and a pack of fresh “Poultry Herbs,” and was rewarded with a broth great fro sopping up with warm French bread.

To make Coq Au Vin you will need:

6 slices of thick cut bacon cut into one inch pieces

Four or five chicken thighs, (Since aged rooster is no longer readily available it is important to use more favorable cuts of chicken)

About half a pound of peeled boiler or pearled onions, (about one bag at the grocery store)

About half a pound (or one full pack) of whole button mushrooms

Two large cloves of garlic crushed

One bottle of merlot,

One cup of chicken stock,

One pack of Fresh “Poultry Herbs” (or about two stalks of rosemary, one stalk of sage, and six or seven stalks of thyme)

And salt and pepper to taste.

Begin by rendering the bacon over medium high heat in a stock pot or brazier. Season the chicken thighs with a little bit of salt and pepper and brown in the rendered bacon grease. Add the garlic, onions and mushrooms and stir. Cover the chicken thighs with the bottle of Merlot, and add chicken stock and poultry herbs. Simmer until the alcohol is cooked off and the chicken is done. Discard the spent herbs.

Serve the chicken with the cooked onions and mushrooms in a bowl or plate, and ladle enough broth preserving for dipping bread.

Note: With this recipe the onions and mushrooms function more as a side than as a part of the broth and it is important to use whole onions.

Merlot is a wine I enjoy drinking which is why I chose it. Traditionally coq Au Vin is traditionally made with red wine but I’ve seen it made with white wine also. I think it is important not to over cook this dish. The chicken should be really tender but you want the chicken thighs to remain whole.

This recipe reheats well. If you allow it to cool you can scrape the extra fat off the top before reheating it, without losing any flavor.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is a very easy, one pot dish great for special occasions or everyday.

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