Sunday, October 26, 2014

Coq au Vin - (in other words, French Chicken Stew)

Coq au Vin
From the moment I woke up this morning I knew it would be one of those fall days where my mind, body and soul would yearn for comfort food and a glass of bold red wine. The sun was bright, the air was crisp and the wind blew briskly enough where I could hear the leaves falling from the trees. As soon as I got out of bed I poured myself a hot cup of coffee, sat at the kitchen table and started looking through some of my cookbooks. I have hundreds of them and the first one I pulled off the shelf was "Saveur Cooks - Authentic French." I quickly looked to see if they had a Coq au Vin recipe and sure enough they did. I don't think I've made Coq au Vin since last fall and for whatever reason the recipe on page 185 was begging me to make it. Maybe it was the bottle of rich red wine it called for, maybe it was the crisp bacon, maybe it was the earthy mushrooms, carrots and onions, or maybe it was the plump browned bone-in chicken it called for. Whatever the reason or ingredient that moved me to make this recipe, it was hands down the right choice for me and my family.

Making Coq au Vin requires several steps, so you need a chunk of 2 plus hours to make this recipe. I knew I had time the time so I really looked forward to "playing" with food today. Yes, playing with food is what I said. Come on, those of you who love to cook or bake know what I mean…cooking for the mere act of self pleasure and entertainment! I had so much fun making this meal and the end result was OMG delicious. My favorite part of making this recipe was pouring an entire bottle a bold red wine into my Le Creuset dutch oven. No, it didn't call for a measly one cup of wine, it called for one flipp'n bottle…how awesome is that!  My second favorite part was browning the chicken and bacon because it created the most flavorful aroma throughout the house. The boys were playing football outside and as soon as they stepped in the house they were like "Wow, it smells soooo good. What are you making?" I explained I was making Coq au Vin and of course they got a chuckle out of pronouncing the name but also said "What is that?" So I told them Coq au Vin is, in other words, a french chicken stew. Honestly, as long as it smells good, looks good, and tastes good they don't care what their food is called…nor does Dave for that matter!

Let me talk about taste for a minute…when I mentioned as soon as I woke up this morning I knew I wanted to make a recipe that would satisfy my mind, body and soul…this dish's taste and flavor over satisfied if that's even possible. The chicken was so tender and juicy it fell off the bone, the red wine sauce was rich tasting with layers of flavor you didn't want to put your fork down, and the vegetables soaked up the medley of herbs and spices which made it take on a whole new taste. I served the stew over egg noodles because they are light and airy but you could serve them over mashed potatoes or any pasta or serve them over nothing.  I also served a crusty french bread on the side so we could soak up all of the juices from our bowls. And I made sure to buy an extra bottle of french wine that the recipe called for so we could have a glass (or two) with dinner. This meal created quite a positive food impression on all of us. It was simply divine!

If you are looking to make a quintessential fall meal; one that will truly satisfy your mind, body and soul like it did ours, then look no further.  Salute to Coq au Vin, or in other words French Chicken Stew!
Medley of ingredients
Sauteing Vegetables in the bacon and chicken oil
Browned chicken and bacon
Adding one bottle of good, rich red french wine!
Zachary chopping the fresh herbs 
Love when my boys help me cook and create a delicious family meal!
Just out of the oven
Coq au Vin over egg noodles
Coq au Vin (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and Cook Time: 2 hours

Serves: 6


  • 1 roasting chicken cut into pieces
  • 2 large yellow onions peeled and chopped
  • 3 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 5 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tb chopped parsley
  • 2 tb chopped thyme
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bottle of good rich red wine like bordeaux or burgundy 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tb flour
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 3 thick cut pieces of bacon, diced
  • 1 lb of small white button mushrooms
  • 3 tb tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
Using a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium to high heat. Salt and pepper chicken pieces and brown on both sides until crisp. Add garlic gloves. When chicken is browned set aside on a platter. In same pan add bacon pieces and brown for about 10 minutes. Remove bacon bits from pan and set aside along with chicken. Add onions, carrots, mushrooms and shallots and cook until al dente about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Add flour to vegetables and mix well. Add beef stock to scrape pan of the chicken and bacon bits. Add parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper and stir. Add chicken and bacon back to the pan and add cognac. Then add bottle of wine. Heat over medium to high heat for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until well blended in wine sauce. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cook 1 package of egg noodles according to package. When done, add a spoonful of egg noodles to a bowl and add a large spoonful of chicken and it's red wine sauce over top. Serve with crusty french bread. 

Food Impressions:

Nate: "I love the sauce over the noodles and the chicken is so tender and juicy." 

Tyler: "Every time I take a forkful I get something different. Once it's bacon, then it's chicken then it's a piece of carrot. I think the combination of all of the ingredients are super delicious." 

Zachary: "This Coq au Vin or however you pronounce it is really yummy. I love the sauce and it tastes so good dipping the bread in it. Oh, and the mushrooms are so meaty tasting."

Dave: "This is the best Coq au Vin you've made. The sauce has depth and there are just layers of flavor every time you take a bite. The chicken is perfectly cooked, the vegetables aren't overly tender or mushy, and the egg noodles pair well. The wine is also a perfect pair with this dish."

Andrea: "I must admit, this dish was outstanding. The reaction of Dave and the boys regarding this recipe was priceless. This dish is quintessential fall comfort. It is great for a Sunday family dinner or it's great to serve for a fancy dinner party. I'm glad there were some leftovers so I can have it for lunch the next day. It takes a few hours to make but if you are in the mood to play with food, as I said in this post, you will truly enjoy yourself in the process. Absolutely delicious meal. Make sure to have plenty of crusty bread to soak up the juices, oh and don't forget to buy and extra bottle of wine to serve with it!"
Nate enjoying his meal
Zachary soaking up the juices with his french bread!

1 comment: