Coq au Vin

  • Prep Time
    1 hour
  • Cook Time
    2.5 HOURS
  • Serving
  • View

Several things made this dish wonderful.  First, the stewing hen from Dorignac’s (which the butcher kindly cut up for me) was the most delicious flavorful chicken I’ve ever had.  Second, I happened to have two optional components of this dish in my kitchen, the roasted garlic butter for the toast points, and the mushroom demi-glace left over from Friday night’s dinner.  The left-over demi-glace gave this stew a tremendous depth of flavor.  And third, I had plenty of time. A bottle of Billecart-Salmon rose champagne put this leisurely, luxurious and homey dinner over the top.


Coq au vin

Pearl onions and Mushrooms

Parsley Garlic Toast

Roasted Garlic Butter


    The four pound stewing hen that I used actually tasted like CHICKEN as opposed to the bland flabby young chickens usually found in a grocery store. This dish is just as good as it gets. DO AHEAD MOVES: Coat the chicken pieces in seasoned flour. Have your pearl onions ready to par-boil. Have the roasted garlic butter on hand. This is simply melted butter into which you have squeezed the pods of a head of roasted garlic. Optional: have a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of demi-glace or mushroom demi-glace that you kept in your freezer or that you have left over from last night's amazing dinner!

    Step 1

    In a big Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the chopped bacon until it is done but not crispy. Then, toss in the chopped shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent not brown.

    Step 2

    Scoop the shallots and bacon out of the Dutch oven. You may have to add a few TBS of olive oil. Get the oil hot and then brown the chicken pieces that have been coated with seasoned flour. (To do this, put a few cups of flour in a big paper back. Season it with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake).

    Step 3

    When the chicken pieces are golden brown, return the shallots and bacon to the Dutch oven.

    Step 4

    Pour in the brandy. It will sizzle and cook down rapidly.

    Step 5

    Pour in the bottle of wine. You want a low rolling boil now.

    Step 6

    Pour in the chicken stock.

    Step 7

    Add the thyme (5 or so stalks tied together with string) and the bay leaf.

    Step 8

    Add the tomato paste. Stir well.

    Step 9

    Put the lid on the Dutch oven, and put it in the oven at about 335 degrees for at least 2 hours.

    Step 10

    While the chicken is stewing, make the mushroom and pearl onion saute. First, boil the onions a few minutes, then pop them out of their skins. Add a few TBS of butter to a skillet over medium heat and when it is hot, add the onions. Cook the onions about 15 minutes or longer. Then, add the quartered mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender. If you have the optional mushrroom demi-glace add it to the skillet and cook to a thick syrupy sauce. Set aside or hold over very low heat.

    Step 11

    Also, while the chicken is cooking, make the toast points: Put four slices of white bread on a cookie sheet. Pour some but not all of your roasted garlic butter over the bread. The roasted garlic butter is just roasted garlic squeezed out of its pods into some melted butter. Toast the bread at 405 degrees until golden brown. Then to the remaining melted butter, add the chopped parsley. Spread some of the parsley butter on the toast points. The toast points will be beneath or on the side of the chicken stew when you plate it.

    Step 12

    When the chicken is tender, take it out of the Dutch oven, and set it aside on a platter. Now you have to reduce and strain your sauce. And DE-FAT it. This is a process and how long it takes depends on how fatty your sauce is. Discard any rubbery chicken skin. A gravy fat-separator can be very helpful here. When you have a relatively smooth sauce, return it to the Dutch oven and return the chicken to the Dutch oven also.

    Step 13

    Add the mushroom and pearl onion / demi-glace sauce and stir well. Cook over low heat for another 15 to 20 minutes. Don't let it boil too much. Keep it at a low simmer.

    Step 14

    To serve: Place the toast points on a platter. With tongs, place the chicken pieces over the toast. Then, ladle the gravy over the chicken. Sprinkle with more minced parsley.

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