What do you make when you have some red wine, chicken thighs, and mushrooms that need to be used? Why Coq au Vin of course! If you didn’t know, Coq au Vin is a classic French dish of chicken cooked in red wine with onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms and fresh herbs added.
Coq au Vin takes a bit of time to prepare, but is totally worth it. What’s even better is that the leftovers (if any) are even more flavorful the next day.
There are numerous variations for Coq au Vin, but today, I used the following ingredients: Olive oil, chopped onions, chopped carrots, minced garlic, flour, red wine (I used Merlot), low sodium chicken broth, tomato paste, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, skinless bone-in chicken thighs, pearl onions, and mushrooms. Wow, I know that this seems like a lot of ingredients, but it really comes together easily.
To start, I sautéed the chopped onions, carrots, and garlic in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes in my Dutch oven set over medium heat. Then, I added the flour and stirred everything to combine. I added the wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and brought the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the sauce had thickened a bit, I added the thyme and parsley that I had tied into a bundle, covered the Dutch oven, and transferred it to a 325° F oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After the hour and 30 minutes, I removed the Dutch oven from the oven, and poured the contents into a wire strainer set over a large bowl. Using the back of a spoon, I pressed on the onion mixture to extract as much sauce as possible, and returned the strained sauce to the Dutch oven. I discarded the vegetables.
It was now time to add the chicken thighs, but first, I trimmed them of excess fat, patted them dry, and sprinkled both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I browned both sides of the chicken thighs in a little olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
When both sides were browned, I drained the chicken thighs on paper towels, and added them to the wine sauce in the Dutch oven. I turned the thighs to coat them in the sauce, covered the Dutch oven, and returned it to the 325° F oven for another hour and 30 minutes.
Half way through the cooking, I turned the chicken thighs to ensure that they had maximum contact with the wine sauce. Meanwhile, I cooked the sliced mushrooms over high heat in the same pan as I had used for the chicken, and finished them off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a splash of Cognac. Using Julia Child’s approach, I peeled and cooked the pearl onions.
About 15 minutes before I was ready to serve the Coq au Vin, I added the mushrooms and onions, stirred to combine everything, and added a bit of beurre manié to thicken the sauce.
The chicken was falling off the bone tender and succulent, and the sauce incredible. I served the Coq au Vin over buttered noodles with fresh steamed green beans, and a baguette that I had made earlier in the day. Yum!
Coq au Vin
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large onion roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large carrot chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 6 skinless bone-in chicken thighs trimmed of fat
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 18 to 20 pearl onions peeled
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon Cognac
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven set over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add flour; stir to combine. Add wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and thyme and parsley tied in a bundle. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover and transfer to a 325° F oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven; pour mixture into wire strainer set over a large bowl. Press with back of spoon to extract as much wine sauce as possible. Return strained wine sauce to Dutch oven.
- Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add chicken thighs in batches, making sure not to crowd them. Brown chicken thighs on both sides 3 to 4 minutes per side; drain on paper towels.
- Add browned chicken thighs to wine sauce. Cover Dutch oven and return to 325° F oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook sliced mushrooms in same pan as used for the chicken over high heat, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Cognac and continue cooking until all liquid is evaporated. Set aside. Cook pearl onions as described by Julia Child; set aside.
- Remove Dutch oven from oven; add cooked mushrooms and cooked pearl onions. Stir to combine. If necessary, thicken sauce with beurre manié (1 Tablespoon softened butter and 1 Tablespoon flour mixed together). If desired, garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings.