It would be hard for me to choose my favorite type of food. I am completely in love with classic French cuisine, however, I also have quite the love affair with Italian. Not to mention foods South of the Border! Ok, I just love good food. Which is probably why I’m a Chef and constantly posting delicious recipes on this food blog. Ranger Craig says I’m obsessed with food, but you’ll never hear him complain because he’s my official in home taste tester and he relishes his job!
Although chicken is not Ranger Craig’s favorite dish for dinner, he too loves classic French cuisine. Coq au Vin is a classic French dish… chicken braised in red wine. With veggies and herbs of course, but truly this couldn’t be simpler, or more delicious.
There are many fabulous versions of this recipe floating around the world, but as always, I’ve chosen the most “home kitchen friendly”. Traditional Coq au Vin includes pearl onions and quartered mushrooms. I like to use a chopped onion and sliced mushrooms. And as well, I like the mushrooms pan sautéed and added to the sauce at the end. Instead of putting together a bouquet garni, I add my sprigs of thyme and bay leaf separately and chop the parsley. It’s still just as delicious, but saves a bit of time in the kitchen.
However you decide to prepare this classic French chicken, you’ll absolutely savor every bite…even if chicken isn’t your favorite dish for dinner!
6 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, thin sliced
4-6 chicken thighs (bone in)
4-6 chicken legs (bone in)
1 bottle red wine (French Pinot Noir, Chianti or Zinfandel)
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tablespoon soft butter
8 oz Cremini mushrooms sliced
3-4 tablespoons butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Heat a Dutch oven on medium and cook the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon pieces to a bowl and leave the bacon drippings in the pot.
Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté for a few minutes until the onion turns golden brown. Add the garlic and let it sauté for a minute or two. Remove the veggies to the bowl with the bacon, leaving the remaining bacon fat in the pot.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the Dutch oven, turning the heat to medium high. Brown the chicken on both sides, adding a little olive oil if needed. You may need to brown the chicken in batches. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
Add the veggies and bacon pieces back to the pot and then add 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Pour the entire bottle of wine over the veggies and stir. Add the flour/butter mixture and mix well.
Place the chicken pieces back into the Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes letting the liquid reduce a bit.
While the chicken is cooking, heat the butter in a large sauté pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
When the chicken is done, transfer to a platter and keep warm. Remove the parsley, thyme sprigs and bay leaf from liquid. If the liquid needs to reduce further, heat the Dutch oven over medium high heat and let the liquid reduce a bit more.
Add the mushrooms to the sauce and then ladle the sauce over the warm chicken pieces. Garnish with the fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.
This dish is fabulous with my creamy polenta recipe in the Beef Straccato post found under the category “beef”. It can also be served with baby red roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
Option: This can be prepared in a slow cooker. Fry the bacon pieces and veggies according to directions. Dust the chicken with a little flour and brown chicken according to directions. Then transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the bacon and veggies over the chicken; add the parsley, thyme and bay leaf, and add about 2 cups of wine.
Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours or on high about 4-5 hours. When the chicken is done transfer to a platter, removing the parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Pan sear the mushrooms and add to the sauce. Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley and serve immediately.