| | | |

Coq Au Vin Blanc…White Wine Braised Chicken

Coq Au Vin Blanc is a classic French dish.  White wine braised chicken surrounded by a heavenly and simple sauce perfect for those nights when all you need is a big bowl of comfort and some crusty bread to dip into it! 

Coq Au Vin Blanc is a classic French dish.  
Coq Au Vin Blanc is a classic French dish.

Coq au Vin…a classic, rustic French chicken stew that has gotten a bad rep.  Think a divine and indulgent dish like this is not clean eats?  It is… and I’ll show you why.

Years ago…in the wonderful land of culinary school…almost all my chefs in my first year were French.  My very first chef, Chef Michele (that’s a man), spoke with a thick French accent, always wore the crispest chef whites with the French flag etched into his collar, smelled like sweet Cognac and clean laundry and said things like “shit pan” instead of sheet pan, causing an uproar of stifled laughter.

Chef Michele was a tough cookie.  He would get angry fast and never hesitated to kick anyone out of class out of sheer principle.

However, Chef Michele was also a gentle teddy bear.  He saw the students who were genuinely trying to learn rather than be a know-it-all, as many chef students are even this early on in the game, and he took them under his wing.

And the ones that were on his good side, he never punished but stood by their side and corrected and taught.  I was fortunate enough to be on his good side.

My first few months of Culinary school were a new world to me.  And my goal was to become acclimated with this new world as soon as possible.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Chef Michele, frequently told us stories about his beliefs on food.  He would tell tales about his town in France.  How his mother used to make homemade mayonnaise out of  bright orange yolks and fragrant olive oils.

How cream sauces and sweet butters were staples in their diet.  And chickens were used whole.  Innards were made into savory pates, bones were used for stock and chicken skin was savored with each crispy and oh so very satisfying bite.  Fat was good and pure.  Chickens were small and deliciously tender.

Vegetables were ripe and seasonal.  Tomatoes were a blazing red and begging to be bitten into.  Peaches were succulent and their juices ran all over your hands when you bit into them.

He talked about food like it was life itself.  And then he said, “But food is life.  Food is savored, enjoyed, celebrated.  In France, food was enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and celebrated for hours at dinner.  We used to sit down and discuss our days and life over dinner.  My parents with glasses of locally made red wine, us with milk bought from the farmer down the street who’s cows we waved to every morning on the way to school.  What you consider food in America is embarrassing.  McDonald’s is NOT food.”

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Many students in the class would get angry and consider him unpatriotic.  But students who had grown up outside of the states or had traveled, understood.  I lived this life in my home country.  Everything was fresh, delicious and seasonal.  Even foods loaded with fat and butter never made us fat.

You know what makes you fat?   McDonalds.  McDonalds makes you fat.

Not just McDonalds…Burger King, Coca-Cola, Doritors, Little Debbie, Hostess.  That makes you fat.  Foods that are processed, stuffed with chemicals and then reheated in a vat of oil or microwave.  Then loaded up with processed fats to cover up the bitter after taste that all those chemicals give it.

Yum.

So how exactly is this delicious Amish chicken that you see gloriously displayed above clean eating?  Simple.  There isn’t anything in there that I could not grow in my garden. (Except the chicken of course, the Amish raised that baby for me chemical and hormone free).

See clean eating is not all protein shakes and egg whites.  No one would last on that.

Clean eating is natural fats, whole veggies, fruits, proteins, whole grains and even dairy.

It’s not something you grab out of a cupboard or a pantry.  It’s made from scratch.  With your own hands, in your own kitchen with ingredients as minimally processed as possible.

If we can all go back to eating the way people did at the turn of the century or the way they do in small villages all over the world, obesity would not be an epidemic in this country.

Clean eating is a beautiful balance of living your life.  Incorporating healthy ingredients and bright flavors to enhance your meals rather than hydrogenated oils (yuck) and chemical laden, processed garbage.

So enter this glorious chicken.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

I made this chicken for the very first time at the end of my first year in culinary school.  Under the careful supervision and instruction of Chef Tual.  Chef Tual spent his career in America as the Executive Chef at the Ritz Carlton.  Not an easy feat.  He was similar to Chef Michele, but he smelled of delicious apple Calvados liqueur rather than Cognac.  He very much reminded me of the French chef in the Little Mermaid movie…except with a full head of gloriously gray hair.

Chef Tual was one of my favorites.  And he stood next to me the whole time as I cooked his favorite childhood dish for family meal: Coq Au Vin…literal translation, Cock in Wine (go ahead have a giggle.)

By my side he stood teaching me little tricks…but he said the beauty of this dish is the simplicity of its nature.  Chicken, herbs and wine all blend together to make an aromatic stew that will warm any belly and put a smile on anyone’s face.

Chef Tual was pleased with my creation I suppose, because upon his very first bite he loudly proclaimed, “C’est magnifique!” It’s magnificent.  And truth be told it really was.  He ran to the baking department and grabbed several freshly baked loaves of baguette and we all crowded around the gigantic rondo (a wide pot) and nibbled on chicken skin and dipped the crusty baguette into the divine sauce.  The class went quiet as we all savored each bite and all that was heard was the loud humming of the exhausts.

It was quiet perfection.

I totally wandered off into my memories there…I am here now.  

So…preheat oven to 250-degrees

We start with really beautiful chicken pieces.  I like to use only the leg quarters but feel free to use the breast as well.  Go for the good stuff if you can.  I prefer Amish chicken or locally farmed over conventional and even organic.

Pat them nice and dry.  (A dry chicken = a beautiful sear.  Remember that.  One of the golden rules of searing.)

Season them really well with Kosher salt and black pepper.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Get a nice heavy bottomed pot.  I love this cast iron enamel dutch oven from Amazon!!! Just as good as the other French brand and a fifth of the price!

Place some coconut or avocado oil in there. About 2 tbsp.   I like using these oils because they have a high smoke point.  Which means the oil does not break down at a low temperature…which means you get a deep colored sear.

When your pan is scorching hot, place your chicken pieces in there carefully SKIN SIDE DOWN.  DO NOT TOUCH FOR 5 MINUTES.  In order for a nice skin to form, you need to let it sear undisturbed.  This is a problem that many housewives get.  They need to mess with it.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

STOP messing with it.  Go check out your Facebook updates or better yet dice up your shallots and onions for the next step.

Lemon and Orzo Soup. Girl and the Kitchen  Just DO NOT TOUCH the chicken for 5 minutes.

5 minutes later you will have some gorgeously browned chicken.  By crusting it up, it will now lift off easily.  If not give it a minute or so and then gently turn it with your tongs.  Let it cook for another 5 minutes.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

You are going to want to continue doing this in batches with all your chicken.  I was making 16 pieces so I had to do it in 3 batches.  But it’s worth it.  Because when you remove the chicken you get this.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Do you know what that is?  That’s flavor.  That’s caramelized protein and rendered fat that gives your sauce all its flavor.  That’s perfection.  Beautiful perfection.  At this point, there seems to be a lot of extra fat that has accumulated on the bottom from the rendering of the chicken fat.  I pour most of it off.  Fat is good…but no one needs to bath in it, your chicken included.

At this point, we turn down the heat to a nice medium and add in our onions, shallots, garlic and thyme.  Go ahead and add the thyme in whole.  You will pick out the stems later when it is done cooking.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Toss it all together with the remaining fat and let it sweat.  Meaning, no color, just let it get nice aromatic and translucent.  Let it go for about 5-7 minutes.  Then add in your flour, some salt and pepper and mix to combine to make sure your onions absorb all the flour, it will seem almost like a paste.  Cook for 3 minutes to let the flour taste cook out.

By the way…what you just did there…you added the flour to thicken your sauce once we add the liquids to it.

Chef Tual gave me one little secret that I carried with me… Calvados.  That gloriously, sweet apple brandy he always smelled like, he also added a touch to his coq a vin.  And it makes a HUGE difference.

Calvados is expensive.  So if you can get any other apple brandy heck even apple cider would work.

Turn up the heat and pour in your brandy.  Remember NEVER pour out of the bottle directly.  First pour it into a glass.

This may cause it to flame up if it catches the fire…which is doubtful with a high rimmed pot…but also fun 🙂

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Your job at this point is to scrub the bottom with a wooden spoon. (Using a liquid to help you pick up those bits is called, deglazing.)   Scrub, scrub, scrub.  Get all those beautiful little pieces off the bottom to make your sauce yummier and your pan cleaning easier.

Once all the alcohol has boiled off add in your chicken pieces back into the pan and add wine.  Traditionally, coq a vin is made with red wine. I prefer it in white wine.  I find the flavor is a bit milder and the color of the chicken remains a golden brown rather than a dark purple.

The chicken should be covered ALMOST all the way.  Taste for salt and pepper and bring the pot up to a boil.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and place into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until your chicken is cooked through.

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen
You will have an incredible aroma fill the air.  And you will temporarily be transported back to the villages of France and Provence where life is simpler and food is better.

Before serving removing remaining thyme stems.  Sprinkle with some parsley or extra thyme.  And serve with creamy skinny mashers.

Now some options…

Making ahead of time:  Like many other braises and stews it freezes incredibly well.  I like to put it in the fridge once it’s done and then REMOVE THE FAT that has come to the top of the pot.  You will have a cleaner and leaner sauce.  Then I put it into the freezer and when I am ready to serve, I place it into the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350-degrees and it’s perfection.

Thickening: If you would like a thicker sauce, prior to serving, remove your chicken out of the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.  In a separate bowl, combine a few tablespoons of softened butter and a few tablespoons of flour and mix well to form a paste.  (This is called a beurre manier and is my favorite way to thicken a sauce.)  Once the liquid is boiling, drop the beurre manier slowly into the liquid, piece by piece and whisk it in.  Remember, it will only thicken if you allow it to come to a boil.

 Leaning it out: If you would like it even leaner, ensure you skim the fat off the top as I stated above and do not eat the skin.  Trust me the chicken will be delicious nonetheless.

Thickening and Making it Richer:   If you like a richer sauce…remove the chicken from the pot, bring the pot to a boil and add in heavy whipping cream.  This will also thicken your sauce.

Options: Feel free to add mushrooms for a deeper woodsy flavor.


31 days to clean eating

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Coq Au Vin Blanc…White Wine Braised Chicken


  • Author: Mila Furman

Description

Tender and succulent chicken surrounded in a silky white wine and thyme sauce.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves (rougly sliced)
  • 8 chicken pieces on the bone
  • 4 stems of thyme
  • 1/4 cup of Calvados or apple brandy
  • 2.5 cups Riesling (or semi sweet wine of your choice)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • handful chopped parsley for garnish
  • 8 oz or 1 cup cremini mushrooms (optional, quartered)
  • 1 cup cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250-degrees
  2. Heat up oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Pat the chicken dry and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken pieces all over and remove from the pan. Start with the skin side down and DO NOT TOUCH FOR 5 MINUTES. In order for a nice skin to form, you need to let it sear undisturbed. Turn to the other side and do the same.
  5. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  6. Add the onions, shallots, garlic and flour. Combine well so the flour coats the onions and shallots.
  7. Allow to sweat while covered until the onions are soft and translucent and very fragrant.
  8. Pour in the Calvados or apple brandy and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift up all the bits.
  9. Add the chicken back to the pan along with the wine.
  10. Allow to come up to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover. Place into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  11. (OPTIONAL) Once chicken comes out of the oven, place back on stove, bring up to a boil and add cream.
  12. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
  13. Add the chopped parsley and season to taste.
  14. IF you want to thicken the sauce a bit more at the end, combine a bit of flour with softened butter and add to sauce. It will add like a mini roux. This process is called beurre manier.

Notes

Now some options…

Making ahead of time: Like many other braises and stews it freezes incredibly well. I like to put it in the fridge once it’s done and then REMOVE THE FAT that has come to the top of the pot. You will have a cleaner and leaner sauce. Then I put it into the freezer and when I am ready to serve, I place it into the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350-degrees and it’s perfection.

Thickening: If you would like a thicker sauce, prior to serving, remove your chicken out of the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. In a separate bowl, combine a few tablespoons of softened butter and a few tablespoons of flour and mix well to form a paste. (This is called a beurre manier and is my favorite way to thicken a sauce.) Once the liquid is boiling, drop the beurre manier slowly into the liquid, piece by piece and whisk it in. Remember, it will only thicken if you allow it to come to a boil.

Leaning it out: If you would like it even leaner, ensure you skim the fat off the top as I stated above and do not eat the skin. Trust me the chicken will be delicious nonetheless.

Thickening and Making it Richer: If you like a richer sauce…remove the chicken from the pot, bring the pot to a boil and add in heavy whipping cream. This will also thicken your sauce.

  • Category: One Pot Meal
  • Cuisine: French

Coq au Vin Blanc from the Girl and the Kitchen

Similar Posts

27 Comments

  1. Seriously, what beautiful content! And PLEASE write a post just about culinary school – or if you have, send me the link! Great photography too. Very, very nice.

    1. Julia, thank you so much for the wonderful comments. I appreciate it more than you know! I talk about my culinary school and work experiences in almost all my posts 🙂

  2. Just made this recipie this morning. I have one word-incredible! It was fairly easy to make. The chicken came out so juicy and the sauce so silky. Thanks again for a wonderful recipie!

  3. Oh wow. It’s just barely past breakfast and I’m starving after reading this. I clipped a recipe for coq au vin years and years ago and have never made it. I like the white wine idea much better! Getting one of my precious local pastured chickens out of the freezer NOW. There will be yumminess on the dinner table tonight! Thank you! 🙂 Pinning for later as well.
    ~april

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words!! I am glad you are using a local chicken it will definitely be worth it! I would love to see pictures and your reviews on it 🙂

  4. Looks delicious! We be making it later today for dinner, I do want to add mashrooms, is it a good idea to panfry them before I add them to the pot?

    1. Oh my goodness!!! What sweet comments!!! Thank you so much!!! I’m also very happy I saw you on foodgawker 🙂 signed up via email for all your posts!

  5. I just made this and it was fantastic! Just wondering, when do you add the cream and the beurre manier. I added both after I took the pot out of the oven, but still tasted a hint of flour. Should I do this before adding the chicken back into the pot to be put in the oven? You do mention adding a bit of flour after sweating the onion mix, is this when? Also if adding mushrooms do the go in during the sweating of the onion mix? Thanks in advance!!!

    1. Yes! You can add the cream right after the wine OR you can add it in at the end. I prefer to add it right before it goes into the oven because then everything cooks together perfectly! Yes add the mushrooms in when you are sweating the onions. Have an awesome night!

Leave a Reply