The Ultimate Braised Chicken Recipe: Coq a Vin in Your Braiser

Coq au Vin is the quintessential French braise—and a lovely recipe to make in your braising pan (such as the Le Creuset Braiser—my favorite). The recipe serves six, and it  refrigerates beautifully (in fact, like many braised dishes, it’s even better a day or two after it’s made).

Below is my recipe. It’s from The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

PS: The photo was taken by Andy Fjellman in the kitchen of Baru 66. The night it was taken, Chef David Baruthio was featuring my recipe for Coq au Vin. What an honor! Baruthio was a 2013 nominated semifinalist for “Best Chef Midwest” by The James Beard Foundation.

I love using a “cru” Beaujolais from one of the villages for this dish.

Coq au Vin Bonne Femme

None of my recipes are hard….if this looks long, it’s because I tell you every single thing you need to know! I guarantee you that you can do this, and that it’s not difficult at all.

3 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves and/or thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons allpurpose flour
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-size carrot, peeled and diced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cru Beaujolais, such as Beaujolais Villages, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Morgon, or Brouilly (not Beaujolais Nouveau); you can also use Pinot Noir
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley, plus additional snipped fresh parsley or chives, or a combination, for the garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
11/2 cups frozen pearl onions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems trimmed, left whole if small, quartered or halved if larger

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

No, you don’t have to use a braiser, but I love mine for this particular dish. You can also use an oven-safe Dutch oven.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in 1/2 cup of the flour, pat off the excess, and set aside. Cook the bacon in a braiser or oven-safe Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the vegetable oil to the bacon fat left in the braiser; heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the braiser.

3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot and shallots to the braiser; cook, stirring, until the carrots soften somewhat and the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the braiser and add the bacon.

4. Cover the braiser and transfer to the oven. Bake until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 1 hour. (Can be made ahead. Cool slightly and chill up to 24 hours. This makes it easy to skim off the fat. When you’re ready to finish the dish, simply discard the solid fat layer.)

5. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook the frozen pearl onions in a large saucepan according to the package directions. Drain and leave in the colander. In the same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat; add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and lightly browned. Return the onions to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm. (Can be made ahead. Once onions and mushrooms are cooked, transfer to refrigerator containers and chill up to 24 hours.)

6. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a large platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf. Pour the juices and solids into a large measuring cup and skim off the fat. You want a total of 2 cups of pan liquid, including the bacon, carrot, shallots, and garlic in the liquid. If you have more, boil the liquid in the pot over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 cups. If you have less, add additional chicken broth to make 2 cups, return the liquid to the pot, and bring to a boil.

7. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour together to make a paste (a beurre manié). Add the beurre manié bit by bit to the cooking liquid, stirring with a wire whisk to blend away any lumps. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens, then continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Add the onions and mushrooms and heat through.

8. Divide the chicken among six shallow bowls. Pour the sauce over the chicken, dividing the bacon, mushrooms, and onions evenly. Top each serving with a sprinkling of parsley or chives and serve. Makes 6 servings.

P.S.: Want more great recipes for your braiser? Check out my e-book, The Braiser Cookbook($2.99). And remember, you don’t have to own a Kindle to read e-books. You can download a free Kindle reading app here: Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

 

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12 comments to The Ultimate Braised Chicken Recipe: Coq a Vin in Your Braiser

  • I just printed this out (many thanks for the Print Friendly version!) and will make when I have some time. It’s one of my all time favorite dishes and look forward to trying yours!

  • Lisa

    I made this last weekend and it was absolutely fantastic! I don’t have a braiser, so used a Dutch oven. I used bone-in breasts and they came out juicy and fantastic. Leftovers were anticipated, but there were none! Thanks for the great, easy to follow recipe!

  • Marian

    Hi,
    I cook for one and have the small LE Creuset braiser that is 1 1/2 quarts and the 2 1/4 qt (picked up at a thrift shop) and was wondering if there are adjustmenets for using the smaller braisers………….can the ingredients be halved and still have the same times?
    thank you

    • Wini

      Marian–hello! It’s amazing that you go the 1 1/2 quart braiser! I just got one myself. What a coincidence.

      I LOVE that size. I use it, at this point, mostly for reheating larger braised dishes and for side dishes.

      I haven’t tested the big recipes in the little braiser, but, having braised for years and years, I’d say that YES, you should be able to halve the ingredients and get the same timings. Meats take a certain time to braise, whether there’s a lot or a little, so, broadly, I see no reason my recipes shouldn’t work for the little guys.

      Enjoy your new braiser!

      Good luck–and let me know how it goes!

      PS: I plan to do a major post about that 1 1/2-quart braiser, so stay tuned.

  • Emerald

    Awesome recipe! Made it tonight and it was perfect. Im new to french cooking and this didnt dissappoint. The family loved it! Im looking forward to making more french dishes! Thank you!

    • Wini

      So glad you enjoyed it. My goal on this site is to make everyone feel that they can cook French food, no matter what their skill level is. Your note made my day. Thanks!

  • Andrea Wilson

    Wini,
    I have a La Cornue oven and am still learning to use it. I find everything cooks much faster. Can you help me with any adjustments with this recipe?

    • Wini

      Andrea, you have a La Cornue? What a great piece! I’m jealous. Alas, I have no experience whatsoever cooking in that oven. I wish I could be more helpful!

  • Lisa

    Hello,

    How do you recommend on the reheating? This looks perfect for our rotating dinner party where we’re doing the main, and would love to know how you suggest warming it up again on low after making it ahead as you called out. Thanks!

  • Wini

    Hi! Very simply–just put it a large pot (Dutch oven or braiser) and place it on the stovetop. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan sauce and heat very slowly over low to medium-low heat until it’s completely heated through. If sauce gets too thick, just stir in a little bit of water.

    Enjoy! I’m glad you’re considering this for your dinner party.

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