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Classic Coq au Vin

Classic Coq au Vin


  • 8 to 12 pieces of dark meat, bone-in, skin-on chicken (buy 4 to 6 large, full legs—thigh and drums attached—and use a boning knife to separate at joint)

  • 16 to 18 pearl or pickling onions, peeled and trimmed

  • 2 large fresh bay leaves

  • 3 cups for 8 pieces of chicken or 1 bottle for 12 pieces red Burgundy wine

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

  • 1/3 pound guanciale, thick-cut bacon or pancetta, cut into lardons, or batons of pork belly or cheek

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 ½ pounds white or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered

  • A small bundle of fresh thyme

  • ¼ cup brandy, such as Cognac or Armagnac

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 3 cups beef bone broth or stock or chicken bone stock

  • 1 small container of demiglace (about 2 tablespoons)

To Serve:

  • Toasted torn chunks of brioche or warm crusty baguette


Serves: 4 to 6

Combine the chicken and onions in a large plastic food storage bag or shallow dish, add bay leaves and cover in wine, then marinate overnight. Strain and reserve wine. Pat the pieces of chicken dry and reserve the onions and bay. Place wine in a small pot, reduce by half and set aside off heat.  

Preheat oven to 350°F.  

Season chicken with salt and pepper and heat large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons oil. 

Brown chicken, skin-side down first, 5 minutes, then turn, brown 3 to 4 minutes more and remove. Add the pork, render until lightly crisp and remove. Add butter and mushrooms with thyme. Brown mushrooms, then add the reserved onions, salt and pepper and brandy and stir. Add tomato paste and garlic and stir a minute more. Sprinkle flour over the pan, add the bone broth or stock, then stir in the demiglace and reduced wine. Turn and settle the chicken into the sauce. Cover the pan with 2 layers of foil or a lid if using a Dutch oven. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove thyme and bay leaves. 

Serve with brioche or baguette.