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from the kitchen: coq au vin

a plate of food with stew

Here is another tried-and-true favorite from our first cookbook. Over the years, we have received so many notes, emails, and even Facebook mentions of how well this recipe turned out. That is the highest compliment for a cookbook author, recipe developer, or chef: that the recipe is easy to understand and will come together to create a perfect meal and food memory! Coq au Vin is a typical Plats du Jours dish, and though it takes a while for the flavors to meld, the preparation is not difficult and the results are superb. This is a recipe that must be started at least one day ahead.

Serves 6 – 8

For the marinade:

  • 1½ cups red wine
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup blended oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 6 chicken thighs

 To prepare the marinade:
Mix the red wine, parsley, garlic, oil, salt, bay leaves, and soy sauce together in a large bowl big enough to accommodate the chicken. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

For the potatoes:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a roasting pan, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for about 35 minutes or until soft. Set aside and turn off the oven.

For the braising liquid:

  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ bunch celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil
  • ½ tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups red wine
  • Bouquet garni (4 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 2 bay leaves)
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock

To prepare the braising liquid:
In a stock pot slowly sauté the carrot, onions, and celery in the blended oil until the onion is lightly browned and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the peppercorns and tomato paste and cook until soft. Add the cocoa powder and the cinnamon. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce by half. Add the bouquet garni and chicken stock. Simmer for 1 hour and strain the liquid. (There should be 1 quart of liquid remaining.)

For the chicken:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound pancetta, diced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 30 pearl onions, blanched and peeled

To prepare the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. Discard the marinade. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper and dredge the chicken in it. Set aside. Cook the pancetta until crisp in a heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan large enough to hold all of the chicken. Remove the pancetta and set it aside, keeping the fat in the pan. Sauté the mushrooms in the pancetta fat until well browned and remove. In the same pan, sauté the chicken until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. (Add more oil if necessary.) Deglaze the pan with Cognac and then with the red wine. Reduce the liquid by half. Add the reduced chicken stock, pancetta, mushrooms, and pearl onions and place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm. Reduce the wine sauce by one third.

To serve:
Add the potatoes to the wine sauce and pour over the chicken.