Coq Au Vin with Crispy Wine Soaked Root Vegetables
Going to use the first line of this blog post for a huge flex disclaimer. THIS RECIPE IS FRENCH MOTHER IN LAW APPROVED. I made this for my mother in law who grew up in Lyons, and she loved it. Soooo yea I am breaking some traditional rules here…but if I wasn’t doing things my way, what would be the point of me making my own coq au vin recipe?
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My spin on coq au vin honors the traditional flavors of the dish, while adjusting some elements to meet my taste. If your taste is similar to my taste, you will love it. If you prefer the OG stewy coq au vin that we’re used to, then check out Julia Child’s recipe or the NY Times.
Back to my recipe. I did a few things differently here. First of all, I really don’t love boiled vegetables. (Do you?) So, instead of boiling my root vegetables throughout, I decided to boil them to cook internally, then halfway through the stew’s simmer time, transfer them to a sheet pan and roast with some potatoes until crispy. This way, they get the wine/stew flavor but also develop a crispy, caramelized and roasted texture that I love. If we’re going to make a recipe that takes over an hour…we better LOVE it.
I bumped things up another notch with some crispy seared maitake mushrooms (instead of traditional button mushrooms) and some green beans to serve with. Instead of adding the mushrooms and rest of the vegetables back to the stew, I just combine all of the elements in the bowl, and let each person choose how much of a stewy vibe they want.
Finally, the red wine I used in my recipe is totally different than the traditional nod to Burgundy (i.e: Pinot Noir or Gamay.) Pinot Noir would of course go beautifully here because it has an earthy element to it…however…most Burgundy pinots are pretty pricy. Now that I actually have a wine education I feel confident in this little switcharoo that I did here…which is to use a GSM (Grenache Syrah Mouverdre) blend from the Rhone Valley instead of a Burgundy. First of all, the prices from Rhone are more approachable than Burgundy. Second, I really like the taste that it brings to the chicken — the Syrah has a meaty/gamy element to it that blends beautifully with the Grenache, which has an herbal element to it along with ripe fruit. A nice, safe choice would be to get a bottle from Chateauneuf du Pape. You can drink whatever is left, of course.
If you don’t have cognac, use bourbon. If you don’t have either, just use some extra red wine. If you don’t want to use more red wine, use some chicken stock. THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
Make this gluten-free by substituting the flour used in the roux with a GF all purpose flour.
|6oz. bacon, chopped|
|4 chicken thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 chicken breasts (all with skin on, bones in - or just use one chicken fabricated into 10 pieces)|
|1 sweet onion, chopped|
|3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch long pieces|
|2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch long pieces|
|1 small turnip (or 1/2 large turnip), peeled and cut into 2-3 inch long pieces|
|Diamond kosher salt, for seasoning throughout|
|Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste|
|1 1/2tbsp flour|
|1/4cup armagnac or cognac|
|1/2bottle red wine (either Rhone Valley GSM Blend or Burgundy)|
|1/2cup chicken stock|
|4 sprigs of thyme|
|1 bay leaf|
|1lb. baby yellow potatoes, cut into quarters|
|2tbsp unsalted butter|
|Fresh parsley, finely chopped, for topping|
|1lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces|
|14-16oz. maitake mushrooms (or shiitake mushrooms work well too)|
|2cups frozen pearl onions (or blanched and peeled fresh pearl onions)|
|Large dutch oven (I used the Great Jones Dutchess)|
AT LEAST 1 HOUR BEFORE YOU START: Dry brine the chicken by drying off all sides of the meat and seasoning generously with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides. I like to do this while I prep my vegetables. If you do it the night before, place the chicken on a sheet pan and back in the fridge. If you decide to prep the ingredients right before you start the recipe, dry brine before you prep the ingredients and leave the chicken out at room temp.
Heat a large dutch oven over a medium high flame. Add the bacon and cook, rendering all of the fat until the bacon is crispy (7-10 min.) Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Add the 4 chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the skin is golden. Remove the chicken thighs and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Adjust the heat to medium low and let the pan cool down for 1 minute. Add the onion, parsnips, turnip and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the onions are fragrant and softened.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Adjust the heat to medium. Sprinkle the flour on top of the vegetables. Mix together until combined. Pour the cognac into the pot and combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the alcohol and toast the roux. Then, add half of the wine along with the chicken stock and mix until combined.
Adjust the heat to a simmer. Add the bacon and chicken (skin side up) back into the dutch oven. Pour the rest of the red wine on top and mix everything together. Lay out the chicken as evenly as possible, making sure as much meat is submerged as possible. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for a total of 1 hour, but return back to the pot in 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
After 30 minutes, remove the root vegetables from the dutch oven with a slotted spoon. Transfer them to a sheet pan and pat them dry with a paper towel. Add the potatoes to the sheet pan (use 2 sheet pans if necessary!) Season all vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Keep the dutch oven with chicken on the stove, covered and still simmering for the next 30 minutes.
Heat another large skillet over a medium high flame. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the maitake mushrooms. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Cook the mushrooms until golden brown and lightly crisp (about 10 minutes.) Then, add the green beans to the pot. Season with another pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until bright green, cooked through but also slightly crunchy. Remove from the heat.
Remove the root vegetables from the oven. Return to the stew and remove the lid. Add the pearl onions. Adjust the heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. If making way ahead of time, transfer the dutch oven to a 175 degree oven and let it simmer until serving.
Plate by pouring a generous ladel of the red wine stew into a large shallow bowl/plate. Then, top with the chicken. Add more of the sauce, then pile on as many vegetables as you would like. Top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!