Who would've thought that when I was looking for meals that would use up all the ingredients in my refrigerator/freezer before moving to a new house, coq au vin would be what I made? I know, I was shocked, too. I had every single ingredient just waiting to be used.
For some reason, coq au vin always intimidated me a little. I really don't know why. I think it's the name. I was really surprised to find that while it took a bit of prep time, making it was super simple. It made my kitchen smell great and it was delicious.
Coq au Vin
Prep Time - 20 min
Cook Time - 1 1/2 hrs
5-6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 whole chicken, butchered
salt & pepper
1/4 cup brandy or cognac (optional)
3 cups dry red wine (I used Chianti)
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1-2 TBSP tomato paste (optional)
fresh parsley, for garnish
Cut the bacon into 1" chunks. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add about a tsp of butter or oil to the bottom of the pot and add bacon. Let the fat render out until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, season the chicken on all sides with salt & pepper. If you like, skin the chicken before seasoning. Add the chicken to the pot and brown on all sides (about 3 min per side). Add the onions, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pan. Saute for about 2 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add brandy. With a long match or one of those grill lighters, ignite the brandy. The flames should die down within a minute. When the flames are out, return the pan to the heat.
Add the wine and chicken stock to the pot and stir. Add the herbs and stir till well combined. Cover and let simmer for an hour. Remove the lid and let simmer for about 15 minutes. If you would like the sauce a bit thicker, whisk in 1-2 TBSP of tomato paste. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Swirl in 1-2 TBSP of butter to also help with thickening and give the sauce a nice shine.
Garnish with fresh parsley and the reserved bacon. Serve alongside your favorite starch.
**Traditional coq au vin includes mushrooms. We do not like mushrooms, so I completely omitted them. If you're into mushrooms, add two cups of sliced mushrooms at the same time you add the veggies.