Cookin’ with Chef Kyle

Treat yourself over the holidays with a French classic

Chef Kyle Williams — December 2019

Coq au vin translates to “rooster(cock) with wine.” This French classic initially intended for tough birds with connective tissues that require braising is now typically made with ordinary chicken. You’ve probably noticed a large number of ingredients. I don’t want you to panic. I know this looks like a lot of elements, and I use some words like “deglaze” and “roux” that you won’t find in many past recipes, but if you have the time, this dish is worth it. This meal isn’t a “hurry up and get the kids fed because it’s a school night” dish. This is a take your time dish. It’s a turn on some music, pour yourself a glass of something enjoyable, and have a lovely evening cooking something special sort of meal.

Coq au Vin

Servings 6-8

For Stew, You’ll Need:

  • 6 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 1 cup bacon, thick-cut diced or cubed
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced (medium)
  • 2 cups celery, diced (medium)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced (small)
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled, whole
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, cut in half
  • 4 cups baby fingerling potatoes, raw, cut in medium chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3-4 cups dry red wine, e.g., French pinot noir
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3-5 quarts chicken stock, enough to more than cover
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Butter, as needed for finishing
  • Oil, as required for cooking
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For Roux, You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour

For Optional Ingredient, You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon flour

For Optional Garnish, You’ll Need:

  • 1 baguette, freshly baked
  • 1/4 cup parsley, fresh chopped
  • Freshly cracked pepper and gray sea salt

Method of Preparation

For the Stew:

  1.  In a large pot, on high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) to the pot.
  2. Sear the chicken until the edges are golden dark brown (2-4 minutes).
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot and place it to rest on the plate.
  4. Add bacon, both types of onions, carrots, and celery to pot with oil.
  5. Sauté and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add mushrooms and garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Deglaze with red wine and 1/4 cup of brandy.
  8. Stir the food particles from the bottom of the pot and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  9. Add potatoes and chicken back to pot; add stock (as needed), fresh herbs, bay leaves, and tomato paste.
  10. Mix and season to taste.
  11. Place lid on pot and simmer (small bubbles.) Do not bring the stew to a rapid boil. Turn heat to low/medium-low.
  12. Simmer for 1-2 hours minimum.

For the Roux:

  1. In sauté pan on medium-high heat, add butter; melt and simmer.
  2. Once melted, slowly stir in enough flour with a wooden spoon until consistency resembles wet sand.
  3. Cook on low until it smells like lightly toasted nuts (5-10 minutes).
  4. Remove from pan and place in dish and reserve cold until ready.

To Complete the Stew:

  1. Remove the lid of pot and taste. If too thick add more chicken broth or water.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of brandy and allow to simmer.
  3. While stew is simmering, whisk in roux (only 2 tablespoons at a time). Once the stew thickens, stop adding roux; you may not use all the roux you made.
  4. Once done, remove from heat and whisk in cold butter, fresh parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper (and maybe more brandy if needed).

For Plating:

  1. In a shallow entrée bowl, ladle 1 to 3 cup of chicken stew, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and baguette.
  2. Add optional garnish of fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
  3. We suggest you serve with a glass of pinot noir wine from Burgundy, France.
  4. Enjoy!

Chef’s Notes:

  1. You can use chicken breast or boneless skinless thighs in place of bone-in chicken thighs.
  2. For gluten-free, omit roux and baguette.

From the kitchen of Chef Kyle Williams.

Bon appétit!

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