Coq au Vin, which translates to "Rooster in wine," is a classic dish that has been known in France for centuries.
In many ways the dish is similar to beef bourguignon in that both dishes tenderize a generally tough cut of meat by braising it slowly in red wine. Stewing beef is of course used in beef bourguignon whereas rooster is used in coq au vin. When I cooked this dish at home I actually used on the bone chicken as a substitute for rooster. I was generally quite pleased with the results so I am sharing my recipe with you here today.
On the bone chicken
Bacon (or lardons)
Red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper
To thicken the gravy: Butter and flour
First I started by cutting the bacon into chunks and cooking it all the way through. Once that was finished I removed it from the pot and set it aside for later. I left the fat in the pot and used it to cook the chicken and vegetables. I did this to add more flavor to the dish but it could easily be drained as well if you prefer the dish to be a little more lean.
Next I browned both sides of the chicken and set them aside. I also cleaned up the lower parts of the bones a bit of any excess skin. It's not necessarily and it's not something I've ever done before but in this case I gave it a go for presentation purposes. I would actually probably do it again even just to get some more practice at it.
After that I began cooking the celery, carrots and onions in order to caramelize them and remove some of their excess water.
When that was finished I removed the vegetables and made a rue to thicken the gravy. To do this I used butter and flour. If you don't add too much liquid to the pot you can also thicken the gravy with tomato paste alone. I've also often wondered if finely ground corn meal could be used as a gluten free substitute to flour. I haven't tried it myself but I don't really see why it would not work.
Next I added everything back into the pot along with some of the herbs and spices (i.e. salt, bay leaf, chicken bouillon...etc). In this recipe I used whole pepper corns instead of ground pepper. It was actually a bit of an experiment for me. After being braised in the wine most of their spicy heat was removed from them and what was left was a small pop of crunchy peppery flavor. I personally liked it but my wife didn't so much, so unless you like experiments maybe just stick to ground pepper. It's less risky that way.
Next I added approximately 2 cups of chicken broth and about 2 cups of red wine. You may have to adjust the amount of liquid depending on how much of the dish you are making. Basically, I just pour the liquids in until the meat and vegetables are covered. You can also use more wine compared to stock or visa versa depending on your taste preferences. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for an hour or so.
I served the dish with mashed potatoes so while that was simmering, I boiled some potatoes. I also sauteed some small button mushrooms in garlic and butter to served with the coq au vin.
Lastly, I added the tomato paste to the broth a little later to thicken it up a bit. I also added the red peppers late to maintain some of their crunch as well as the thyme.
And that's it. I hope you enjoy!
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