Julia’s Coq Au Vin requires about twice as much time and a few more ingredients. Here is my simplified version. If you’ve never tried Coq Au Vin before, think of it as chicken that took a bath in bacon and red wine, and was then smothered in a red wine gravy…yes please!
- 4 T. butter, divided
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, breasts halved horizontally
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 C. cognac, substitute brandy
- 3 C. full bodied red wine, I used Kiona’s Cab-Merlot 2005
- 1-2 C. chicken stock
- 1 T. tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 T. flour
- fresh parsley garnish
In a large Dutch oven, melt 2 T. of the butter and add the bacon. Cook and stir until the bacon begins to brown. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon. Place the chicken pieces in the hot fat and brown on each side. Season with salt and pepper, return the bacon to the pan, add the onion, reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the cognac. Quickly light the cognac with a lighted match (averting your face) and shake the pot back and forth until the flame is gone, about 20 seconds. Pour the wine over the chicken and add enough chicken broth to cover the chicken. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and thyme.
Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Increase the heat and bring the pot of wine to a rapid boil. Boil and reduce by half. This will take about 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine the rest of the butter with the flour to make a paste. Quickly whisk in the flour paste to the boiling wine. In less than 1 minute the sauce should thicken like gravy. Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley and serve with lots of French bread for mopping up the sauce.