In Burgundy, we love to stay at Frank and Laura Bradury’s homes near Beaune. When we arrived in Burgundy this summer, we were ready to head to the markets and start cooking rich Burgundy specialties, even though it was still the height of summer and quite hot out. One of the first things we made was this Coq Au Vin made with white wine, which lightens up the dish a bit. We’ve always used red wine but now actually prefer it with white. If you’re looking for a super flavorful, melt in your mouth chicken thigh recipe, this is it!
Get the family recipe for French Onion Soup in The Taste Edit Digital Magazine Fall/Winter Issue 2 or order the cookbook Bisous & Brioche.
A close second to boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin is also one of Burgundy’s regional specialties. Mémé, Franck’s grandmother, made the ultimate coq au vin in the traditional way. She would go to the boucherie and buy a rooster (sometimes live, sometimes not) and a nice fresh batch of chicken blood to cook up her coq au vin.
When I first learned, after a year or two of reveling in her delicious coq au vin, that Mémé added fresh blood I was put off . . . for a second or two. Then I shrugged and kept eating. It was that delicious.
For years at La Maison des Chaumes, our house in Villers-la-Faye, we were woken up by the crowing of roosters belonging to our neighbor across the street, an ancient Italian woman called Inès who had the most stunning espaliered fruit trees in her garden. Every once in a while, her roosters would fall silent, and Franck and I would joke that Inès had just made a fresh batch of coq au vin.
Rebecca has done a brilliant job of adapting the traditional recipe, as neither fresh chicken blood nor roosters are easy to come by outside of France. She has used more accessible ingredients to create a dish that is as satisfying and delicious as the original. —LB
COQ AU VIN WITH WHITE WINE
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 12 strips bacon, cut into ½-inch slices
- 8 chicken pieces, 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs, skin on, bone in
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups Chicken Stock
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- ¼ cup brandy
- 8 sprigs thyme, divided
- 10 oz pearl onions
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 lb small button or cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- ½ cup Crème Fraîche
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves to garnish
- Heat the oven to 350˚F.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large ovenproof sauté pan (at least 5-quart capacity). Add the bacon, and cook until crispy, 8–10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a bowl and set aside.
- Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towel and season generously on all sides with sea salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bacon fat in two batches, skin-side down. (Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil if the pan is too dry.) Sear for about 5 minutes on each side, until the skin is rendered, crispy, and browned. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
- Add the diced onion and carrots to the pan, and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and lightly browned. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the stock, wine, and brandy, stirring to combine. Add half the bacon, the chicken and any juices left on the plate, and 5 sprigs of the thyme. Check that the chicken is skin-side up and not immersed fully in the liquid to keep the skin from going soggy.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper over the chicken thighs and drumsticks, pressing down so it is tight against the top of the ingredients and comes down the insides of the pot. This seals in the steam and the juices and allows the chicken to become beautifully tender and juicy. Cover the pot with its lid, or tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the oven.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 35–40 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the oven, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the pearl onions. Boil for 1 minute, then drain. Peel the pearl onions.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms and pearl onions until softened and browned, 8–10 minutes. Add the leaves from the 2 remaining thyme sprigs.
- Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the contents to extract as much broth as possible. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Whisk in the crème fraîche and Dijon. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions to the pot.
- Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through, garnish with the tarragon, and serve.
Don’t miss their feature in Issue 2 of our digital magazine that includes over 75 pages of additional fabulous fall recipes from Scotland, Italy, France, and Switzerland.
Recipe by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman, from Bisous & Brioche, copyright © 2020 by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions.