Friday, February 3, 2012

Coq au Vin

Yes, it's me again.  Took a little bit of a hiatus, didn't I?  I'm telling you, life.  Life does funny things.  Keeps you busy.  Keeps you sleepy.  Doesn't necessarily keep you bloggin'.  But thanks for sticking around...

Anyway, Coq au Vin.  A classic French dish, but how in the hell do you pronounce it?  I swear I was one of the only people in my Culinary lab to have even heard of it before.  It almost was annoying having to repeat it over and over again after people asked what I was making.  But regardless... it's "Coke (in a nasally kind of tone)-O-Van (again, nasally!)". 

Now that we've gone over how to say it.  What the heck is it?!

The literal translation is "Cock of the wine" (no giggling all of you immature folk, hehe) - but we can use our common sense and say it's "Chicken cooked in wine."

One of the biggest mistakes when making Coq au Vin is that people end up with "purple chicken." You don't want purple chicken.  It's just not natural.  So the best way to avoid purple chicken, you ask?  Get a good coating on your chicken in the first place.  And don't go overboard on the wine.  If you want to go overboard on it, don't put it in the pot, put it in a glass and drink it.  Deal?  Okay, let's get to it!


1 whole chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
flour, as needed for dredging
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T unsalted butter
4 T Brandy
Bouquet garni (the following wrapped in a cheesecloth) made of:
     4-inch carrot stick
     4-inch leek, split in half
     1 sprig of thyme
     1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 pieces of bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
18 pearl onions, peeled
10 button mushrooms, quartered

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each piece of chicken, shaking off any excess.  You want to get a good dredging because ideally, the flour that ends up on your chicken will ultimately be what thickens up your sauce throughout the cooking process.

In a large dutch oven heat the butter under medium high heat.  Add the chicken, in batches, and cook until both sides are browned nicely.  Set the chicken aside on a plate.

Add bacon pieces to dutch oven and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy.  Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pot.  Add the brandy and ignite.  Cook until flame dies out.

Return chicken to pot and add bouquet garni, garlic, wine, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Or until chicken is tender and sauce is thickened.

About 20 minutes before ready to serve, add in pearl onions and mushrooms.

Season with salt and pepper.

We served this over some butter sauteed egg noodles and it was just the perfect pairing. 

I know there hasn't been much of a winter (or at least in my part of the world), but this would be the perfect dish to curl up on the couch with and get warm.  It's comfort in a bowl, I tell ya.  The chicken is tender and falling off the bone.  The sauce is rich, yet delicate. 

Hope everyone is doing well, I know I am, albeit busy as hell!  Have a great weekend guys!


  1. I love Coq au Vin and this recipe looks good to me. I have even served this dish to the French is France! I was told I was a good 'cooker' LOL. Diane

  2. We've def had a winter here- finally! This looks fabulous, have been on my list so long. My little ones would def love this as well! Another one of yours I gotta add this to my to make list!!

  3. This sounds amazing! I wonder why I always thought it was duck... hmmm.

    Anyway, I'm glad you found time to blog because I love your check-ins and recipes, but I totally understand that life (and sleep!) takes precedence!

  4. Looks delicious! Thanks for checking in with us!

  5. Somehow I haven't got much luck cooking with red wine as I find it hard to balance the flavour. I like your coq-au-vin with noodles. It's better to drink the red wine than putting too much into the dish.

  6. haha "cock of the wine"... i always pictured wine would have a vagina?

    PS. miss you - good to see you're still alive :)

  7. This looks so delicious. I am so happy to see something from your kitchen. I look forward to your yummies but I too understand that life takes over sometimes.

  8. Looks like a wonderful one pot meal.

  9. I just love coq au vin, and I especially love picking out the button mushrooms and eating them all myself :) Great post! Welcome back :)

  10. I wasn't giggling, no, it wasn't me. Love this classic dish.

  11. Welcome back! I can make this; I have pearl onions waiting for me in the freezer.

  12. So funny: When I saw this post was about Coq au Vin my first thought was, "Wait, how do you pronounce that?" Thank goodness I'm not the only one who struggles!

    (In my mind I always hear "cocoa vinn," which sounds like a total Jersey Shore nickname."

  13. Beautifully done, Peggy! I've done the purple chicken version, so I appreciate the tips :) So good to see a post from you (and a yummy one at that!).

  14. You are right, I would not want purple chicken although it might be a conversation piece:)
    Glad you are back. Take your time as much as you want. I will always be checking your site.

  15. Nice to have you back. Life first, blog second is my motto. Sometimes time off is necessary. You sure came back with a winner. I haven't had this in eons. I have to say the literal translation and the purple hue it can have has so many jokes reeling through my mind but I'll walk away with my dignity intact. Giggling but intact.

  16. Glad to hear you are doing well! I laughed at the purple chicken comment. I do coq au vin fondue and I always laugh how the chicken comes out purple! The wine gives the chicken such great flavor!

  17. Yes purple chicken is not a good thing! With noodles? Sounds like a good combination!

  18. Mmmm coq au vin! Looks great to me ;) Purple or not.

  19. Looks so good! I've never made it but always wanted to - hopefully this will inspire me!

  20. I always enjoy cooking food with wine. Provide such a new dimension of flavours. This is a dish that I always wanted to make. I bookmark the recipe.

  21. I've always love the concept of Coq au vin - but never got around to preparing it. This definitely put it higher up on the list again.

  22. mmmmm...i've been trying to branch out and think of a french dish to make. might have to give this one a whirl!

    also - i can't wait to see my boyfriend's face when i tell him i'm cooking "cock of wine". haha :)

    x jenn

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