Coq au Vin
Coq au vin is a French dish of chicken traditionally cooked in Burgundy wine with lardons, mushrooms, onions and different spices. Though Burgundy wine is the most popular version of this dish several regions in France also have its own version using the wines they manufacture, hence versions like Vin Haune, (Jura), Riesling, (Alsace) and Champagne, (Champagne) do exist.
The name Coq au vin means “rooster in wine” and during the old days roosters were used to prepare one, hence old recipes call for long hours of braising time to tenderize the tough rooster meat. Initially this dish was a popular peasant meal but nowadays this is a staple of haute cuisine. Like most classic French dishes the origins of this dish is too old it was never documented but it was believed that it can be traced back to the Roman period of ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar.
It’s a relatively simple dish and its most basic form can be rustic, if you are lucky enough to use rooster go for it, that will give you the best flavour and texture but if not a free range chicken would do, the tougher the meat the better so you can braise it for longer periods breaking down the collagen in the meat giving it a rich flavour.
- 1.5 kgs free range chicken thighs, cut into medium sections
- 4 pcs thick cut bacon, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 20-24 pcs small button mushrooms
- 2 dozens small white onions, peeled
- 2 cups red wine preferably Burgundy or Pinot Noir
- 2 cups good chicken stock
- ¼ cup Cognac
- 2 pcs bay leaf
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Heat pot in a stove top, add oil then the bacon, cook until lightly browned. Remove bacon from pot then set aside.
- Season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken in batches and brown on all sides.
- Add the Cognac, let it boil so the alcohol evaporates.
- Lower the heat then add the bay leaf and thyme, cook for 10 minutes while covered.
- Open the pot then add the garlic, carrots and sprinkle the flour over the top. Cover again and let it cook for 5 more minutes in low heat. Turning once during this process.
- Pour the wine and stock making sure chicken is covered with the liquid, add more stock if needed. Add in the bacon and tomato paste, mushrooms, cover the pot then gently simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the onions then continue to simmer for 10 more minutes or until chicken is cooked. Turn heat to high let the liquid reduce to a thick consistency. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, turn heat off then serve.