Easy Coq au Vin Recipe
This delicious and easy coq au vin recipe comes from the late, great French chef Michel Richard, who I had the pleasure of working for during my early days as a chef. I worked at Michel’s restaurant Citrus on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood during the late 1990s, where I learned many of the basics of French cooking.
This recipe for coq au vin is easy, but fairly time consuming. Be sure to marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours, or overnight, for the best flavor. Although the original French recipe calls for coq (rooster), most people make it with chicken these days. Use a good quality wine when preparing this dish.
French Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine)
Adapted from Michel Richard
4 chicken legs, with thighs attached or 6 chicken thighs (without legs)
4-6 thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, crushed or 1 tablespoons of garlic-shallot puree
1½ cups Cabernet Sauvignon
6 ounces beet juice (from unsweetened canned beets) - or another 3/4 cup additional Cabernet
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
3 slices bacon, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
16 pearl onions, peeled
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
16 medium-large button mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Coq au Vin:
Marinate the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish with wine, thyme, garlic and beet juice. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, turning over once in a while to ensure even marinating.
When ready to cook, drain the chicken pieces on a paper towel and pat dry. Strain the marinade and reserve for the dish.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Brown the bacon bits, and scoot to the side of the pot. Brown the chicken pieces in the bacon fat on both sides, about 3 minutes each.
Add onions and carrots to the pot with the bacon. Add flour and stir well, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and tomato paste, stirring to get all bits incorporated. Add strained marinade and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, cover pot, and place in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning chicken once in a while until cooked.
Remove pot from oven and place on a burner. Remove chicken pieces and place in a casserole dish. Put in the oven to keep warm at about 180F.
Add the mushrooms to the cooking liquid and boil until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Remove thyme and season with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, place chicken on plate with some vegetables and lots of sauce on top. Serve chicken with garlic mashed potatoes or risotto if desired.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe4tO5vW9_E
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