Calling all Francophiles! My latest installment of "Fast & Fabulous" features a classic French recipe adapted with weeknight simplicity in mind: Quick Coq au Vin. This delightful gem of a dish is perfect any time you feel like something comforting and delicious but don’t have tons of time to spend in the kitchen. It’s on regular rotation at our house and I have a feeling you’re gonna feel the same way.
Coq au Vin is a French dish that's been around since the days of Julius Caesar. Since then, it has experienced various incarnations but it wasn't until Julia Child featured the recipe in her legendary 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, that it reached its current level of culinary cult status.
While "coq" technically refers to a cock or rooster, today the recipe is generally prepared using a chicken which is then braised in red wine (typically Burgundy) along with bacon, mushrooms and thyme. Braising the chicken can be a time intensive process, which can relegate this recipe to more of a weekend or special occasion dish. However, this genius "quick" version substitutes boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the whole chicken which cook much faster, making it a suitable selection for weeknight enjoyment.
The initial recipe was shared with me a few years ago by one of my favorite wine writers and friends, Tony Ventura. I have made it countless times since then and have made a few tweaks which I think enhance the dish such as using fresh thyme instead of dried (which you can always use in a pinch), increasing the amount of sauce and using pre-sliced cremini mushrooms to enhance the flavor and cut down on the prep time. I also use prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon which I think looks and tastes better but feel free to use Canadian or any other type of bacon you prefer.
Coq au Vin is typically served over buttered egg noodles and accompanied by a glass of red Burgundy, since that’s the wine that is usually used to make it. I like the Vincent Girardin Pommard "Les Vignots" ($49) but I also love pairing this dish with a Cru Beaujolais which is about half the price but still delivers amazing flavor! I like the Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Côte de Brouilly Cuvée des Ambassades ($20) and the Joseph Drouhin Domaine de Hospices de Belleville Fleurie ($25) which are both tremendous values for the price!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do and I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments section below!Print Recipe
"FAST+ FABULOUS: QUICK COQ AU VIN"
Adapted from Debra F. Weber, Your Guide to French Cuisine
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1 lb. Cremini mushrooms, trimmed & sliced
4 oz. prosciutto, torn into strips
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
Egg noodles cooked according to package directions
1/3 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
) In a large zip-lock plastic bag (1 gallon or larger), add the flour, thyme and salt and shake the bag to mix well. Add the chicken and shake to coat thoroughly.
) Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken (preferably in one batch) and cook on both sides until golden brown - approximately 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
) To the same pan add the mushrooms and bacon and saute for 5-8 minutes, until both have browned.
) Stir in the wine, broth and tomato paste. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
) Return chicken to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
) Serve chicken over a bed of egg noodles and garnish with the chopped parsley