Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coq Au Vin for 2

Last night, Chris and I decided to stay home and have a date night in, especially since we have been so busy with work lately and haven't been cooking as much as we'd like. With the cold weather outside, we were looking for something hearty and satisfying. And what's more satisfying than a good coq au vin?

We started with Julia Child's recipe, but tweaked it a bit (see: used a lot less butter).

Coq Au Vin for 2
adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

2 bone-in chicken breasts
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tbs butter
Salt and pepper
2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais or Chianti)
2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
1/2 tsp italian seasoning

1 tbs butter
1/2 large white onion
1 carton white mushrooms

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Flat-leaf Parsley sprigs


Dry chicken thoroughly in a towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.

Remove any rind off the bacon and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1-inch long). In a large saucepan, simmer the bacon lardons in 1 tbs butter until browned and crisp. Remove lardons from pan and set aside on a paper towel.

Place chicken pieces into the hot oil (not crowding pan), and brown on all sides.

Coq au vin 3 browned chicken

While the chicken is browning, melt 1 tbs butter in a non-stick pan, and add the onions to begin browning.

Coq au vin 2 sauteed onions

When the onions are wilted and begin to brown, add the cut up mushrooms and sautee.

Coq au vin mushrooms

When the mushrooms and onions are sauteed, turn off the heat and set aside.

Once the chicken is browned, return bacon to the pan, cover pan, and cook slowly for 4 minutes, turning chicken once.

After browning the chicken, pour the red wine into the pan and add just enough chicken broth to mostly or completely cover the chicken pieces. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, italian seasoning, and sauteed mushroom/onion mixture.

Coq au vin 4 boiling chicken

Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover pan, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is tender when pierced with a fork or an instant-read meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Coq au vin 5 cooked chicken

When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Increase heat to high and boil the cooking liquid rapidly until approximately 2 cups of liquid remains.

While the liquid is boiling, in a small bowl, blend the 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons softened butter into a smooth paste; beat the flour/butter mixture into the approximately 2 cups hot cooking liquid with a whisk. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened (the result will be a sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon - just thick enough to coat the chicken and vegetables lightly). If sauce is too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if sauce is too thick, thin out with additional spoonfuls of chicken stock. Taste the final sauce, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

Plate chicken with pasta and spoon sauce on top.

Coq au vin 6 finished

And in the words of Julia, bon appetit!


  1. oh my gosh, this looks delicious! I was thinking I would try it, but I would really prefer if you would just come make it for me :)

  2. Beautiful. I will have to try this recipe. I love your photos, as usual.