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Coq Au Vin (French Chicken Stew)

Coq au vin is one of the most well known and popular French chicken dishes. It consists of chicken braised with wine, bacon and mushrooms. Although red wine is typically used, white wine can also be used to make Coq Au Vin Blanc. It can be prepared a day or more before serving, which will result in an flavourful stew.

± 1.5 kg whole chicken, cut into sections
375 ml red wine, e.g. Cabernet, Merlot, Chianti, Pino Noir
250 ml prepared chicken stock
60 ml Brandy or Cognac
30 g butter
125 g bacon, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
4 cloves of garlic
30 ml tomato paste
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
450 g pickling onions
250 g button mushrooms
15 ml cake flour
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine the wine, chicken stock, and brandy in a mixing bowl and add the chicken pieces.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling wrap and marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook until crispy, about 8 minutes.
  5. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set the bacon aside.
  6. Remove the chicken from the wine marinade and reserve the wine.
  7. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place the chicken in the pan, skin side down.
  8. Brown the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side.
  9. on both sides () then remove the chicken from the pan
  10. Return the saucepan to the stove and add the pickling onions, brown sugar and vinegar.
  11. Add the chicken pieces and brown gently until golden brown on all sides.
  12. Add the carrots, garlic, reserved wine marinade, tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme to the saucepan.
  13. Bring it to the boil, the cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  14. Add the pickling onions to the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  15. Add the mushrooms and bacon to the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  16. Combine the cake flour, salt and pepper and about 60 ml of the pan juices in a mixing bowl and make a paste.
  17. Stir the paste into the chicken mixture and turn up the heat. Cook while stirring until the sauce has thickened.
  18. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  19. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs with a slotted spoon and discard it.
  20. Transfer the Coq Au Vin to a serving dish and serve with couscous, mashed potatoes or rice and vegetables. 

Variations
– Substitute the whole chicken with 4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks of the same weight.
– Substitute the bacon with or pancetta.

Photo credit: www:bluejeanchef.com