Chicken with Pearl Onions and Mushrooms Simmered in a Red Wine Sauce (Coq au Vin)

Coq_Au_Vin1 (1 of 1) Yum, French comfort food! The first time I had this French classic was at a restaurant in Germany — it was delicious! Over the years, I’ve taken bits and pieces from various recipes to create this lower-fat/lots of flavor version. You could also call this a “lazy man’s coq au vin,” because I remove the chicken from the bones after the dish is cooked, and add it back to the sauce. A great meal for a chilly fall evening, I hope you’ll try this recipe!

3 1/2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces, and trim off any bit of fat I can find)
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 ground black pepper
2 slices bacon, coarsely diced
1 Tbsp butter
20 pearl onions, peeled
8 oz button mushrooms, stems trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup brandy
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

In a medium glass bowl, combine wine, bay leaves, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Add chicken and stir well. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp and golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Reserve 1 tsp of the bacon fat.

Heat butter and 1 tsp bacon fat in a large, non-stick skillet over low heat. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes.

Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. Add the chicken and 1/2 tsp salt to the onion mixture. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook the chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour.

Transfer chicken to a Dutch oven. Pour brandy into the skillet with the onion mixture and boil, deglazing for 30 seconds. Pour over chicken in Dutch oven. Add the marinade, onion/mushroom/garlic mixture, chicken stock and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces, and let cool for a few minutes. Discard skin and remove chicken from bones (discard bones, as well). Add chicken back to sauce and sir well for 1 minute over low. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with steamed or mashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley.

Serves 4.

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