Coq au Vin (easy quick recipe; Julia would faint)

The other night, in honor of my finally getting to watch Julie and Julia, I made Coq au Vin for dinner–which is fancy-French for “Chicken in wine sauce.”  It was so remarkably easy that I’m going to record the recipe here; at least I’ll be able to find it in the future, and maybe someone else will desire to give it a try.

This, by the way, is ridiculously far from the Julia Child version, which involves browning baby onions and sauteeing mushrooms separately and using lots of butter and a dutch oven and several hours.  But it’s very tasty, and took maybe 35 minutes start to finish, which is for me a “special occasion” meal.

I also suspect that a vegperson could honestly simply omit the chicken and have a really lovely shrooms-and-onions-in-wine-gravy-over-rice-or-noodles kind of thing.

So here’s what I did:

Busy Mom’s Coq au Vin

  • (Put on your noodle or rice water…by the time that’s done, so will dinner be)
  • heat a few tbs. olive oil (or butter, if you’re Julia) in a skillet. (Cast iron is awesome for this!) (If you use non-stick pans things won’t brown as well, and you need to not heat the pan by itself without oil or stuff in it or it can give off toxic fumes.)
  • Dredge two chicken breasts in flour; brown in the hot oil for a few minutes on each side. (The pan should be pretty hot before you put them in; let them cook unmoved on each side till they begin to brown; keeps the juices in.) (Mine were organic and free range, and I swear they taste ten times better than the other kind. So worth the extra cost, safety and humane-treatment-ness aside.) If you’re in a big hurry, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces before browning.
  • When chicken is browned, remove to a plate.
  • Cut up one onion into half-rings or quarters whatever shape/size you prefer; saute in the oil
  • Throw in a few cloves of mashed or minced garlic (in my case, from a jar, because I’m lazy) and saute with onion
  • Before the garlic and onions burn, which they tend to do for me, toss in half a pound or so small button mushrooms or larger ones cut in half; I used cremini, which has a richer flavor.  (Increase shrooms if you’re skipping the meat.)
  • Splash in a little wine and scrape up any stuck chicken or onion or flour bits off the pan; this intensifies flavor and makes the pan much easier to clean.  Stir in a tablespoon or so of tomato paste (optional, or you could probably do a little pasta sauce or whatever tomato-based thing you have kicking around.  I like the tomato paste in a tube; it keeps forever and you don’t have to use it all at once like with a can.  Plus it tastes better.).
  • When shrooms are basically cooked, put chicken back into the pan, if using.  Add about half a cup of wine, a cup of broth (chicken broth if you’re using chicken; veggie or mushroom broth if you’re skipping the meat).  Add 1/2-1 tsp thyme, half a bay leaf, a little salt and pepper.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat till chicken is just cooked through (maybe another ten minutes, fifteen if your pieces are thick); then take cover off, raise heat a little, and let the liquid cook down.
  • Serve over rice or noodles, or potatoes I guess would be nice too.

This was a lovely Friday night dinner, one which merited opening a bottle of better than adequate red wine.

Bon Appetit!

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Posted on February 7, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I just made something last night remarkably similar to this but it was called Mushroom bean ragout. It had tomatoes as well as mushrooms, beans, onions, garlic. wine. seasonings were “thyme, sage, or …(I forget!). I used poultry seasoning, which has all 3 herbs. Served over polenta. It was good, even with the less than adequate wine we had.

  1. Pingback: Crockpot Chicken Mushroom Piccata recipe « It's Not Easy Being Green

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