Life has been so hectic lately, there has been absolutely no time to cook!
Between friends visiting to explore Vancouver’s food scene, commitments for a little side-gig I have writing restaurant reviews, my full-time job, and helping to plan the Annual Farmer’s Market Gala (which just wrapped up this weekend), there has been a lot of take-out! On Wednesday, I’m headed to Edmonton with work for the rest of the week, so I knew tonight I had to get into the kitchen.
All day long, I was craving a delicious, slow braised, fall off the bone protein with a great sauce and a lot of root vegetables. I wanted something that was messy, not perfectly plated. I wanted some of that wholesome, earthy, home cooked, made-with-love type of food. Cue, Coq Au Vin!
To make a great Coq Au Vin, you’re going to want to break down an entire chicken. If you don’t like dark meat, you can stick to chicken breasts, as long as they are on the bone and you keep the skin on. Personally, I find dark meat adds a lot of flavour, so I definitely recommended trying it in this recipe at least once!
Another important ingredient in this recipe is the bacon. Splurge on it! Go to the butcher and spoil yourself with that extra thick, heavy, made the old fashioned way bacon!
Lastly, as always, never use a wine that you wouldn’t drink. This recipe calls for half a bottle of dry red. A little for the cast iron, and a little for your glass.
If you like to eat later in the evening, this is also a great weeknight recipe. Three days a week, my husband goes swimming. He never likes to eat until he gets home around 7:30, which makes Coq Au Vin a perfect Monday night meal in our house. Tonight, I picked up two chickens. I put one aside to steam for our dog, Indie, and broke the second one down for the recipe below! We shared it with olive bread and some roasted vegetables, and we loved every bite.
Coq Au Vin
- Cast Iron Braiser
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Chef Knife
- 1 Whole Chicken, Free-Range
- 4 Slices Extra Thick Bacon
- 1/2 750ml Bottle of Dry Red Wine
- 1 Oz Brandy
- 1.5 Cup Chicken Stock
- 4 Carrots Peeled, Roughly Chopped
- 3 Celery Sticks Roughly Chopped
- 1/2 White Onion Diced
- 3 Cloves of Garlic Minced (Add more if you would like)
- 5-6 Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 TBSP Butter
- 1 TBSP Flour
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Freshly Cracked Peppercorn
- 1 Handful of Fresh Thyme (8-10 Sprigs)
- 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
- Place 1 raw chicken on a cutting board. Carefully move your knife in between the joints, and break the chicken down into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts, 2 wings). Leave the skin and bones on your chicken.
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper, and leave it to rest on your cutting board while you prep your vegetables.
- Wash, Peel, Mince, Chop, and Dice your vegetables.
- Cube your Bacon.
- Preheat a cast iron braiser over medium-high heat. Drop in your diced bacon. Saute until browned. Once browned, remove your bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Reduce your heat to medium. Place your seasoned chicken (in batches), skin down, into the pan, and place the lid on. The skin should take about 5 minutes to brown.
- Carefully try and lift your chicken using tongs. If it is resisting, it is not ready to flip. Once the skin is sufficiently browned, you will be able to lift your chicken with ease, without ripping the skin. Brown both sides – then remove from the braiser and allow to rest.
- Add your celery, carrot, onion, and some salt and pepper to the braiser and saute in the juices. After 8-10 minutes, when your onions are translucent, add in your garlic and a healthy splash of brandy. Pour in one half of a bottle of red wine, scrapping at the bottom of your pan.
- Add chicken broth.
- Add your chicken, bacon, rosemary, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium low, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add your diced mushrooms to a pan with 1 tsbp butter. Saute until cooked. Add to your Coq Au Vin.
- A tip from Ina Garten: Mix 1 tbsp of warm butter with 1 tbsp of flour. Add to your Coq Au Vin. Allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if required.