Coq Au Vin – Sounds fancy, but it ain’t.

One of our favorite Sunday afternoon dishes is Coq Au Vin – French for Cock in Wine – because they used to stew tough old Cocks when they got too old for breeding in wine all day to tenderize them. Now fresh young chicken is plentiful, so it doesn’t have to take all day. This is Tim’s favorite dish to eat while watching NASCAR. It’s a very simple and easy stew that you can put together in less than an hour. It uses simple ingredients

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, mushrooms, frozen pearl onions, thyme, bayleaf, tomato paste, butter, bacon, flour, garlic and red wine.

First, to the Vin part. Put about half a bottle of a fruity red (I like Gato Negro Malbec because it costs 5 bucks) into a sauce pan. To that add an equal amount of chicken broth. Add in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a bay leaf. Heat over medium heat and let the mixture reduce while your cook the chicken and prep the veggies

You’ll need a good solid pan, I like my cast iron Dutch oven. Nothing non-stick, because there’s some scraping involved.  This is enough for 2, but you can easily double it for 4 or just keep increasing until you hit how many people you need to feed.  Dice up about 3 slices of bacon and brown them in the pan

Once it’s crisp, remove cooked bacon to a bowl and add a splash of olive oil to the rendered bacon fat. Salt and Pepper 6 to 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs and brown three or four at a time in the Dutch oven. While they brown, thaw about 20 pearl onions in the microwave for about a minute. You could also peel 20 fresh pearl onions. I don’t do that anymore. Like I don’t attempt to squeeze fresh Key Limes.

Once they are golden brown on both sides, remove to the bowl with the bacon. Then add about about 2 tablespoons of butter to the now empty pan and scrape up any browned chicken bits as the butter melts. Then add the pearl onions to the melted butter, bacon fat & oil

Then add about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms or however many fresh mushrooms you have on hand. If you don’t like mushrooms, I suggest trying them soaked in wine and bacon. I really can’t think of a good substitute.

Add two cloves of minced garlic & stir the mushrooms and onions together for a few minutes then add about a tablespoon or 2 of tomato paste. I love the stuff in the tube because you can use just as much as you need.

Now add in about 3 tablespoons of flour

Stir it all together and let it get a bit brown

Now stir in just a little chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits in the bottom of the pan as you go
The wine/broth mixture should be reduced by about 25 percent by now. Pluck out the herbs or run it through a strainer. Now add it to the pot and watch it turn to a pretty color.

Now put the chicken back in the pot along with the reserved bacon. Add a sprinkle of salt.

Put the lid on the pot and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing stick to the pan. Now you can either make some mashed potatoes or boil some noodles. This dish is delicious with both.  So after about 25 to 30 minutes, take the chicken out and put on a plate then cover with foil.  Bring the pan up to a boil, add about a tablespoon of butter and a good splash of wine. This is the time to salt & pepper the dish to taste. Let the sauce reduce a little and get glossy. This should take about 5 minutes.

While I was cooking, it started to snow.

Now, put the chicken back into the pan with the sauce. Put either noodles or mashed potatoes into the bowl you’re serving it in.  Then put the delcious chicken and sauce on top. It’s a great hot dish on a cold day.


6 to 8 Boneless Skinless chicken thighs
3 to 4 sliced bacon diced
20 pearl onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 bottle fruity red wine, plus additional 1/4 cup for later
half a stick of butter.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Noodles or mashed potatoes.

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