My Coq au Vin Rouge
French food purists and snobs may blanche when they read this recipe. I’ll be honest. This isn’t a classic version of the French national dish. But I don’t care. I want something that tastes good, is reasonably healthy and not uber-expensive to make.
I don’t ask much. You too?
After a glass of wine Friday evening and Saturday evening, I had a half a bottle of Merlot left over on Sunday afternoon. I was pretty sure I’d make Coq Au Vin Rouge unless someone came up with an idea so amazing I’d just abandon my plan and do something else with the leftover wine.
After looking up several recipes for this dish, I discovered most call for an entire bottle of red wine. Honestly? An entire bottle? How drunk do they want those pieces of chicken to get?
Also, the easiest way to buy chicken is get the boneless skinless pieces. So much less effort. Besides, every health guru on the planet tells you to peel off the skin from the chicken before eating it, anyway. So it’s all for naught. However, every recipe I found for Coq au Vin Rouge called for regular pieces of chicken with skin and bones intact.
Boneless skinless breasts are so dry. My preference is chicken thighs. They’re much more moist and tender. They don’t have the light color many people like. But, when chicken’s cooked in dark red wine – the pieces won’t stay that color anyway.
My husband Ernie was gone over the weekend visiting our grandkids in Southern California. He came home to me making this for dinner. He loved it and clamored for seconds. I served the chicken with Haricot Verts on the side. Just a simple green veggie next to the chicken which is a little more complex and “embellished.”
Notice the tongue tracks at the bottom of the plate. *wink*
Here’s the recipe:
- 4 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon only because my husband doesn’t eat pork)
- 3 tablespoons each, butter and olive oil (you only need this if you’re using turkey bacon)
- One package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (mine was 1.3-pounds), fat trimmed away
- 1/2-cup flour, well-seasoned with salt and pepper
- One medium onion, diced
- 1/2-cup carrots, diced
- 2-tablespoons minced garlic (I use the stuff in a jar)
- 1 tablespoon Herbs du Provence
- 2 tablespoons, ketchup
- 1/2 bottle red wine (I used Merlot)
- 3/4-cup, chicken broth
- 6-8-ounces sliced mushrooms
- Chopped parsley to garnish
Cook the bacon in a large skillet on medium heat. Remove it from the pan and crumble or dice. If you’re using turkey bacon – this is where you add butter and olive oil to the pan and let it melt.
Dredge chicken pieces in the seasoned flour. Place chicken in the pan and let cook about five minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside to someplace warm.
Put onion, carrots and garlic in the pan. Saute for five minutes or until onions are translucent. Add Herbs du Provence and combine. Then add ketchup. Cook for about 1-2 minutes while combining. Add red wine and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes to reduce wine.
Add the chicken broth to the wine mixture and combine. Then put the chicken pieces back in the pan. Spoon the wine and vegetables over the chicken pieces. Cover tightly. If you have a diffuser place it under the pan to let the dish simmer. Let everything cook for 35 minutes.
While chicken is cooking in a second pan, swirl a little olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 8-10 minutes.
Add sauteed mushrooms and bacon pieces to the pan with the chicken and red wine sauce. Spoon the sauce over the mushrooms and bacon to combine. Let everything heat through another 2-3 minutes.
Serve with a little chopped parley to garnish on top.