Slowly emerging from the food coma that is Christmas, I started thinking of the next big meal to cook – New Years Dinner. This meal presented a bit of a predicament this year as New Years Eve falls on a Monday and yours truly will be in the office until 5:30pm. Thank goodness for make ahead meals such as this classic Coq Au Vin ~ Chicken in Wine stew. Make it on Sunday, put in the fridge and when you come home from work on Monday just pop it on the stove over low heat, cook up your side (rice or potatoes whichever suits your fancy), hop in the shower and get your party dress on! It could not be more low stress than this, and you will be sipping champagne with your guests as they arrive instead of spending the evening in the kitchen cooking.
Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine)
- 6 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
- Cooking spray
- 3 - 4 pounds chicken pieces, bones in (I used 3 chicken breasts, ribs in)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced in 1 inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, peeled cut in half and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
- 3 cups dry red wine, such as Burgundy
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 15 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
- Fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Pre heat over to 250 degrees F.
- Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Sautee chopped bacon/pancetta until lightly browned ca. 10 min. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on large plate.
- While the bacon is sauteeing, set out chicken on a large platter in an even layer and pat dry using a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Let rest until bacon is removed from pan.
- Work in batches to brown chicken about 5 minutes on each side. When a piece is done browning, set on top of bacon and keep browning more chicken pieces until all of them are nicely browned and resting on top of bacon.
- Add carrots, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper to the Dutch oven and cook for 10 - 12 minutes until onions are lightly browned. Stir occasionally.
- Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour cognac on top of the vegetable mixture, stir to deglaze pan. Let steam out for a minute or so. Be careful not to keep your face right over the dutch over as you add the alcohol as it might give you quite a sinus cleanse.
- Add chicken, bacon and any pan juices collected at the bottom of your platter into the dutch oven on top of the vegetables.
- Pour wine and chicken stock into pan, add thyme.
- Gently stir the stew and bring up to a simmer.
- Cover pot with tight fitting lid and bake in oven for 35 minutes or so, until the chicken is just not pink.
- Remove from oven and place on stove top burner over medium heat.
- Use a fork or plastic spatula to mix together 1 tablespoon butter with flour. This mixture will act as a thickener for the wine sauce.
- Remove chicken pieces from pan and set aside on a platter.
- Add butter/flour thickener to sauce and stir until well blended.
- Add frozen pearl onions.
- Put chicken back in dutch oven with the sauce and cook on stove top over medium heat for 10 more minutes or so until all ingredients are heated thru.
- As the stew finishes its cooking on the stove top, heat the remaining butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee mushrooms until lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add mushrooms to stew, gently stir to blend well with other ingredients.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm immediately, or let cool uncovered then put in fridge to serve later in the day or even in the next few days. Just heat up stew over low heat until reaching a slow simmer and all ingredients are heated thru.
Source: Ina Garten’s Coq Au Vin