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Coq au Vin

I have been on a French classic kick for the last week or so.  Last week it was Beef Bourguignon and Potato and Leek Soup.  This week it’s Coq au Vin, which simply means chicken cooked with wine.

A few years ago, I took a week long cooking class (which, BTW, was an amazing experience!) and Coq au Vin was one of the many dishes we made that week.  Traditionally this dish is made with  bone in, skin on chicken, which is delicious.  But I wanted to lighten it up just a bit, so I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  To get a nice crust on the chicken, I lightly dredged the pieces in flour.  I also slightly reduced the amount of butter.

Even lightened up, this is still a fabulous dish.  The sauce has an amazing, rich flavor from the wine, and I won’t lie, the butter, as well as the bacon.  It’s great as a family dinner, but it’s also perfect for entertaining.  I love to serve it with mashed potatoes, but rice or egg noodles would also work well.  Just make sure you serve it with something, so you can soak up every bit of that delicious sauce!

Coq au Vin

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened and divided
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 18 pearl onions, thawed if frozen and patted dry
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, until crispy.

Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, mix 1 cup flour with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a shallow dish.

Dip chicken pieces into flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess.

Melt 1 tbsp butter (don’t drain bacon fat) in same pan over medium high heat.

Add chicken and saute for 2 minutes per side, until browned.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and pearl onions to the pan and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove pan from heat and add cognac.

Return to heat, stirring to loosen any browned bits and cook until cognac has evaporated.

Return chicken and bacon to the pan, along with the wine.

Pour in enough beef stock just to cover the chicken.  Stir in thyme, remaining 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and add bay leaf.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Raise heat and reduce the sauce to 2 cups.  Remove the bay leaf and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Mix remaining 2 tbsp softened butter with 3 tbsp flour, until flour is completely incorporated into the butter.

Whisk butter mixture into sauce, bring to a simmer and stir frequently until sauce is slightly thickened.

Ladle sauce over chicken and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles.


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