A New Spin On Coq Au Vin

12th December, 2014

The holidays are all about bringing friends and family together over food, wine and merriment, but nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen slaving over a complicated meal while everyone else is clinking cocktails. That’s why we love one-pot cooking: it allows you to be totally present with your guests while the food pretty much prepares itself!

So, for your next holiday party, pour yourself a cocktail and try out Zach’s updated take on a traditional one-pot coq au vin. His twist on the dish replaces the accustomed button mushrooms with sculptural Maitake mushrooms (also known as hen of the woods, which are prevalent at farmer’s markets this time of year). They offer not only a richer flavor, but also a great holiday feel ~ as if there were a pine cone perched in your bowl! Recipe below…CoqAuVin2


    1 3-4 pound chicken cut in 8ths
    4 ounces lardons
    2 dozen pearl onions
    2 pound large, whole Maitake mushrooms
    2 gloves garlic, chopped
    1 bottle of dry red wine, preferably burgundy or pinot noir
    1/4 cup Cognac
    1 cup chicken stock, homemade or from your butcher
    1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
    1 1/2 tablespoon flour
    Unsalted butter, room tempature
    Good Kosher salt
    Fresh ground black pepper
    1 Baguette


    Preheat the oven to 350.

    Prepare the chicken pieces by patting dry with paper towels and covering them in salt and pepper. Throw a few sprigs of thyme and a little olive oil on top, just because.

    Slowly heat a few glugs of good olive oil in a heavy-bottom dutch oven; I like Le Creuset.
    Add the lardons and cook to a medium crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.

    Lay the pieces of chicken into your hot pan, organized so you can brown a few at once, turning them so they color evenly. Once browned remove and set aside.

    Add your pearl onions (peeled), with a bit of salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Add chopped garlic and stir in; cook evenly for about another minute more. Pour the cognac and combine the bacon and chicken and all the collected juices back into your dutch oven. If you like you can light this with a match but beware as a flame can jump.

    Add half of your wine and all of your chicken stock and toss in another small handful of thyme sprigs. Bring to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving a little room to let it breathe. Cook until chicken is not pink, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron skillet with a few glugs of olive oil. Sear the Maitake mushrooms till crispy, keeping them as whole as possible.

    Next lay the mushrooms on a cooking sheet, covering with salt and pepper and sticking them in the oven until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. This should take about as long as your chicken.

    Once the chicken is done, remove only the meat from pan. Keep the rest of your pot simmering and reducing on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Mash a tablespoon of butter and your flour together and with the flame now turned off, whisk into your stew to form a thick sauce.


    TO PLATE: Dip a whole Maitake into your sauce to coat. Place in the middle of plate, standing as tall as it can. Take a piece of chicken and do the same, leaning the chicken against the mushroom for visual effect. Spoon the sauce with onions around your presentation and finish with a few fresh sprigs of thyme and thick slice of crusty bread.


    TO SERVE: Pair with a fine red Burgundy wine, in keeping with the region where this dish originated. For appetizers or a nightcap, mix up a few of Kevin’s whiskey cocktails!

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