Coq Au Vin

Coq au Vin, French for Get in my belly!

Or something like that.

I have heard this pronounced every way possible, but the way I say it is “co kuh vee” with the emphasis on the “co.” But my family just calls it Goopy Chicken and you are welcome to do the same.

The thing I like about baking is that it is exact. I am one of those people who likes clear, exact, precise things and predictable outcomes. Knowing that if I whip cream of tartar and sugar into egg whites, I will get meringue, makes my world make sense. However, sometimes you gotta let loose and that’s what cooking is all about. A little of this, a pinch of that, I like this flavor so I’m going to dump a bunch of it in. I don’t like spicy stuff so I’m going to leave that out… that kind of stuff. So what I’ll say is this: I learned to make this dish by reading about it on Pioneer Woman and on Epicurious. But there wasn’t a particular exact recipe that I followed for this. So feel free to do what I did, and follow my guidelines but adjust for your likes and dislikes.

Notes: If chicken skin creeps you out, this is the time to get over it. If you are intimidated by a whole chicken, just ask the butcher at the store to chop it up for you. You’ll end up with two wings, two thighs, two breasts (you should cut each in half), two drum sticks, and some yucky parts which you can throw away.

Hardware: You need a couple frying pans for this… one big one for the meat, a medium sized one for the mushrooms. You need a baking dish around 9 x 12 inches. You need a good knife.

Go Buy This Stuff!

1 Whole Fryer Chicken, have the butcher dissemble it for you.

Bacon, you’ll need about 4 or 5 slices for this and a few more for breakfast tomorrow

Half a stick of butter

1 carrot, or a handful of baby carrots

1 white onion


Two packages of  button mushrooms (you know, the blue foam container with plastic wrap on top)


2 cups red wine (Burgundy is traditional for this recipe, but whatever)

3 Tbsp flour

Set your chicken on the counter so it can get closer to room temp before you cook it.  Chop about 4 pieces of bacon into bits… about 1/2 inch by 1 inch rectangles. Fry it up in a big frying pan.  Mmm bacon.

Once it’s nice and crispy and there’s a good layer of fat in your pan, remove the bacon and set it aside.  Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken pieces, then place a few pieces in the rendered bacon fat- skin side down.  After the chicken has cooked for a few minutes and gotten nicely browned on the skin side, flip it over and cook the other side.  You probably won’t be able to get all the pieces in the pan at once, so just fry in batches.  Place the cooked pieces into a baking dish.

While your pieces are cooking, dice your carrots, half of your onion, and chop and smoosh as much garlic as you’d like. Also slice your mushrooms.

Once all the chicken has been cooked, throw the chopped carrots, onions, and garlic  in the bacon-chicken frying pan.  Saute them until soft and then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the chicken dish.  Spread them evenly and fill in all the little spots between chicken pieces. Make sure to drain as much of the grease off as possible before putting them on and around the chicken. Sprinkle those bacon bits on top, too.

In a different pan, melt a chunk of butter and saute your mushrooms in it. It may seem like a lot, but if you’ve ever cooked mushrooms you’ll know that they cook down to less than half of their volume.

Once these are browned and soft, add them to the dish with the chicken and veggies.

Drain all the grease from your chicken-bacon-veggie frying pan, but don’t wash it out. Those little crispy bits will be fantastic in the sauce you’re about to make.

Now we’re going to make a rue.  Put about 3 Tbsp of butter in the pan and melt it.  Add 3 Tbsp of flour and whisk until you get a smooth paste.  The pan will be hot, so be careful with this part: Pour 2 cups of the wine into the pan and whisk it into the rue.  Toss in a pinch or two of salt.  Continue to whisk and let the sauce reduce until it’s a nice consistency.  Pour this all over the chicken and veggies in the pan.  Forgot to take pictures of this step, sorry.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour and a half.  Everything in the pan will be thick and soft and full of wine flavored, chicken-y, bacon-y love.

Make some rice and serve the chicken with lots of the sauce and veggies poured over it, and garnished with fresh parsley.


Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 9:43 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. i know what i am making for dinner tomorrow

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