French Food - Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)
French Food - Coq au Vin
Coq au Vin – Chicken in Wine Sauce
Coq au Vin is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France. In French, Coq refers to a rooster and of course Vin means wine. Today, roosters are rarely used and I don’t even use a whole chicken in this recipe.
I prefer to use legs and thighs, but you can use breasts if you like. Just remember that if you remove the skin and bones, you will also remove much of the flavor. I also add a can of chicken broth along with the wine.
The classic recipe would call for a full bottle of Burgundy but I prefer to use a half a bottle of California Pinot Noir in the dish and to drink the other half with dinner.
The French would also use Cognac in the recipe but you can use Brandy, which is much cheaper or even Whiskey. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
While writing this Hub, it brought back memories of a trip that I took to Lyon, France in 1971 along with two good friends. Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France and many of the great French chefs started out there.
During our visit, we were fortunate enough to have reservations at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges which was owned by Paul Bocuse. Besides pioneering nouvelle cuisine, he was considered to be the best chef in France at that time the time.
Since our plane arrived late, we didn’t have time to rent a car and look for his restaurant which quite a distance outside of the city. Instead we hired a cab to take us there, wait while we ate dinner and then take us on to our final destination which was Beaune.
Instead of being surprised, the cab driver acted like that was something that he did every week. Needless to say, it turned out to be a memorable evening, but that is another story.
4 Chicken Legs and 4 Chicken Thighs
4 Oz. of Bacon or Salt pork (Cut into one inch slices or small cubes for the salt pork)
1 Large Onion (peeled and cut into 8 chunks)
2 Carrots (scraped and cut into 1 inch thick rounds)
3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
12 Oz. Button Mushrooms (trimmed, washed and dried)
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste (or two Tablespoons Ketchup)
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1/2 Cup of Flour
2 Teaspoons Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup of Brandy or Whiskey (optional)
½ Bottle of Pinot Noir
1 Can of Chicken Broth
- Place the flour, salt and pepper in a gallon zip-lock bag and mix them together well.
- Place two legs and two thighs in the bag, seal the bag and shake it to completely coat the chicken with seasoned flour.
- Remove the coated legs to a separate plate shaking off any excess flour back into the bag. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Heat a large frying pan or Dutch oven and cook the bacon until it starts to brown. Remove the bacon to another bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Brown the mushrooms in the bacon fat and remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Brown the coated chicken pieces on all sides.
- Pour the brandy over the chicken and light it with a match.
- When the flame dies out, add the onions, carrots, garlic and the seasonings and then add the wine, the chicken broth and the tomato paste.
- Carefully mix the ingredients and cook covered for about 1 hour in a 300 F oven.
- At this point you can add back the mushrooms and cook for 30 minutes more. Be sure to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
- You can add more chicken broth or water if necessary.
You can serve this dish with noodles but I prefer to serve it with oven roasted potatoes.
Coq Au Vin
Coq au Vin - 2
Lyon, France Montage and Paul Bocuse's Restaurant
Lyon - The gastronomic capital of France
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