Coq au Vin

I wanted to try a traditional french recipe for Coq au Vin, or Chicken in wine, so I did some research and here it is:

This the organic chicken I started with. It came with out giblets, neck bone, heart or innards which sucks, but I hacked away and got into cooking shape.

I tend to cut up the bird in rather large pieces thinking more in terms of a proper dinner serving than in little chicky bits…and I use all of the chicken. I don’t even throw away the back bone, as this is great to eat, and adds s much more flavor.

I bagged n marinated the bird in 3 cups of red wine, fresh crushed garlic, and a few rosemary sprigs. I left it marinade for 24 hours. Some recipes of Coq au Vin don’t say you have to marinade but it really infuses the chicken with a rich wine flavor.

I seared the chicken per the recipe, and browned the pearl onions, mushrooms carrot, and my own home cured unsmoked pork belly. popped everything into the oven and…Viola! I have a video testimony of my knuckle head brother eating it. Can’t show you yet cause I have to upgrade to a video upload on my account…ghetto, I know! Here’s the recipe I used:

Coq au Vin


1 free range chicken apx 3lb

1 onion roughly chopped

1 fat clove of garlic thinly sliced

1 carrot roughly chopped

1 sprig each of thyme and parsley plus parsley to garnish

125 gm unsmoked bacon lardons

20 button mushrooms

1 Bottle of red wine

3 tbs Cognac

100ml good chicken


Using an oven proof casserole, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Let the butter foam but not burn and then add the onion and carrot and fry for about three minutes until they start to colour. Add the bacon lardons and continue to cook over a medium heat until the bacon begins to brown. Then add the garlic and cook for three or four minutes more. Don’t let the garlic colour, merely melt. Remove the vegetables and bacon from the pan, leaving the fats behind, and keep on one side.

Dry your chicken pieces with kitchen paper, turn up the heat under the pan to get the fats really hot and then add four pieces of chicken, skin side down and fry them WITHOUT MOVING THEM for about four minutes.

After about four minutes when the chicken pieces are golden, turn them over and cook for about another three minutes, remove from the pan and repeat with your other four pieces of chicken.

Put all the ingredients back in the casserole and turn the heat down. Have a box of matches ready, tip in the cognac, lean back away from the pan and hold a lighted match quickly a couple of inches over the bubbling liquid. It will ignite! (it’s a good idea to turn off your extractor fan off before doing this – you don’t want to suck the flames into it). When the flames have died down you will be left with essence of cognac without the bitter alcohol.

Season the chicken with a little salt and black pepper and add the red wine (reserving two small glasses) fairly slowly so that a simmer is maintained. Then add the herbs and chicken stock, cover the casserole and transfer to a slow oven. (150˚C works for me).

You want the dish to burp away gently in the oven for about one and a half to two hours, depending on the age of the bird. Keep checking during cooking that the dish isn’t boiling hard in the oven. After one and a half hours check every ten minutes or so to see if the chicken is cooked – take a skewer or small sharp knife and poke the thigh pieces. If the meat is separating from the bone easily, it is ready.

While the coq is cooking, prepare the beurre manie for thickening the sauce. This is merely two teaspoons of butter and two teaspoons of flour mixed together until amalgamated. Keep in the fridge until needed later.

Also at this stage you could prepare the mushrooms. Clean them with a damp cloth, and add them to a mixture of two teaspoons of butter and half a glass of the reserved wine brought to a simmer in a small pan. Season with some salt and black pepper, cover and cook gently for twenty minutes giving the pan a little shake every now and then, draw them off the heat and keep till later..

When the chicken is tender, carefully lift it out of the casserole, cover and keep warm. Strain the sauce into a clean pan, add any liquid from the mushrooms and then boil hard until reduced by two thirds. Taste the sauce for seasoning and then whisk in the beurre manie in small pieces a little at a time until you have the sauce as thick as you like.

Add in the chicken and mushrooms to reheat and serve two pieces of chicken each, surrounded by the mushrooms and ladle the sauce over.


Traditionally the sauce was thickened with chicken blood. I searched all over manhattan and could not find any…Pork blood, yes. Beef blood, yup! Human, u bet…no chicken blood.


  1. I love this food blog. That’s for making it dag, I can tell how much love you have for cooking and food. Miss hearing you on Adam Carolla’s show/podcast, you were always the best guest.

    Love the food blog,
    keep it up

    Las Vegas


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