A delicious chicken dish from Burgundy, France born out of the locals’ love for red wine.
Originating from the region of Burgundy, France, it’s no wonder that a dish was born out of the locals’ love for wine. Coq Au Vin is a traditional recipe braised in no less than their famed vin rouge, though modern-day versions will be fine with one’s bottle of choice.
With slow cooking, this is a recipe of patience that reaps the rewards of succulent chicken meat drenched in a velvety sauce flowing with complementing flavors. Surprising bursts of texture from the crispy lardon bits contrasting with the soft pearl onions make this an interesting course that teases the senses.
This classic recipe in French cooking is commonly made with a whole chicken that’s chopped up into separate pieces. In Chef Antoine Lours’ version, he exclusively cooks this dish with dark meat, as this becomes a tender, fall-off-the-bone delight the longer it braises. His sublime Coq Au Vin is elevated by one additional element: crunchy, butter-tossed croutons that sit on top of the superb harmony of this tender stew.
As a chef from New York, he dedicates his time to perfecting and incorporating his own twist on French dishes he’s known from his childhood, and bringing them to the table to share with family and newfound friends.
- 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups Burgundy wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
- 4 ounces lardons, diced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces pearl onions, peeled
- sugar to taste
- 2 slices white bread, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
Place the chicken cuts in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add in the wine, bay leaf and fresh thyme. Let the meat soak in the marinade for at least two hours.
Sauté the lardons in a Dutch oven until they cook in their own flavorful fat and turn into crunchy bits. Once they turn golden brown, scoop them out with a slotted spoon to set aside. Keep the rendered fat in the pot.
Take out the chicken pieces from the wine marinade and pat each one dry. Save the marinade for later use. Heat up the lardon fat in the pot and lay in the chicken cuts to brown them up. Turn them every 3 minutes so that they evenly color and cook. Set them aside.
Throw in the diced onion, carrot and half the portion of mushrooms in the same pot. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until lightly browned, occasionally stirring to avoid any scorching.
Toss in the minced garlic and stir in the tomato paste, gradually adding the flour. Pour in the marinade reserve and mix. Boil the liquid until the amount reduces to half.
Slowly sink in the chicken pieces and half the lardons into the concoction. Let the stew simmer for 1 hour with the lid over the pot. Afterward, uncover and simmer for 15 minutes more to create a thicker sauce consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Separately, melt in a large skillet a tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place in the pearl onions and dust with a little sugar and salt to taste. Cook in low heat for the next 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add in the rest of the mushrooms and sauté. Continue for 7 minutes until the vegetables are browned. Layer them all on the top of the stew once cooked.
Using the same skillet, melt together the remaining butter and olive oil until bubbling is achieved. Toss in the bread for toasting until the pieces are golden brown. Drizzle with a little bit of the wine sauce, sprinkle with parsley and a dash of sea salt.
For plating, place a generous helping of the stew onto a shallow dish and top off with the crunchy, buttery croutons.