Mimi Thorisson's Secret to the Perfect Coq Au Vin—Bon Appétit!

Mimi Thorisson's Secret to the Perfect Coq Au Vin—Bon Appétit!
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Oddur Thorisson

The trick to making this hallowed French dish without much fuss is mostly a matter of good organization, advises Thorisson. "You have to marinate the chicken a day in advance," she says, "but using ready-made stock cuts the work in half." Boiled potatoes tossed in olive oil and chopped parsley are her favorite accompaniment.

Read on for Mimi's mouthwatering recipe for coq au vin, adapted with permission from her new book A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse ($26, amazon.com).

Serves: 6

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, plus marinating overnight

Active Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

4 to 5 lb. chicken pieces (breasts and legs)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic, separated into cloves, crushed and peeled
1 750 ml bottle red Bordeaux wine
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup cognac
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dried or frozen porcini mushrooms
15 pearl onions, trimmed
7 oz. small white button mushrooms, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)

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Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, onion, garlic, and wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, stirring once or twice during the process.
2. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry.
3. Drain onion and garlic, reserving both liquid and solids; pat solids dry.
4. Boil a medium saucepan of water; blanch bacon for 3 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
5. Transfer bacon to a large pot over medium heat. Add 1½ tbsp of the butter; cook until bacon is golden, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
6. Heat pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then brown in the fat remaining in the pot, turning once, about 10--12 minutes.
7. Once chicken is golden, remove from pot; add reserved onion and garlic to the pot. Cook gently until translucent and golden, stirring often, about 6 minutes.
8. Return chicken and bacon to the pot, sprinkle with flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
9. Pour in the cognac. (Optional: Flambé the bacon and chicken by carefully igniting the liquid; let the flame die out before proceeding.)
10. Pour in the reserved wine and enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients; boil for 3 minutes.
11. Add porcini mushrooms; reduce to a simmer until chicken is tender but not falling off the bone, about an hour or so.
12. Meanwhile, halfway through the cooking time, melt remaining butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
13. Add pearl onions; sauté for 3 minutes. Add white mushrooms; season with salt and pepper; cook until all ingredients are golden, about 5 minutes, then add them to the simmering pot.
14. When chicken is tender, carefully transfer to a plate.
15. Boil sauce over high heat until the liquid is reduced by about half, 10--12 minutes.
16. Return chicken to the pot; serve immediately.

Still hungry? See more of Mimi Thorrisson's favorite French Recipes here. 

 
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