Gosh I love this meal. And the French. Only they could turn an inexpensive meat like chicken thighs, braise it in some wine and turn it into a gourmet dish. Coq Au Vin sounds super fancy, but it’s shockingly simple. And you can throw it in the Instant Pot or Dutch Oven in the morning and let it do it’s thing until you’re ready for dinner and it is delicious either way. You just have to make sure you get a good heat going on the saute setting of an Instant Pot so you can get a good sear on the chicken.
Coq Au Vin is also a great dish that you can prepare a head of time and have ready for a nice Sunday dinner. Sunday’s, I confess, are big days for us ‘round here. I know we’re supposed to rest and all, but we usually end up jamming Sunday with all the family activities; baseball, tennis, hiking, church. And I also like to do a nice deep(ish) clean. I feel like it gives me a fresh start for the week. I usually end up vacuuming, doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and the like.
Big Sundays call for big Sunday dinners. However the last thing I want to do is cook a big dinner after doing all of that… insert Coq Au Vin to solve all my problems. Well, not all certainly, but it’s trying, one Sunday dinner at a time 🤣🤷🏻♀️.
The recipe below is from NYT Cooking, with a few slight tweaks (gasp! omitting the pearl onions) and it is cooked in the Instant Pot, rather than a dutch oven.
- 3 pounds chicken legs
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- 3 cups red wine, (I used Trader Joes 3 buck chuck and it was great)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 4-5 pieces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1, 8 oz pkg white or brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch sugar
*most recipes will call for pearled onions, we omit them. I know, sacrilege, but we do🤷🏻♀️
- Season chicken with 2 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a large bowl, combine chicken, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In a large Dutch oven or instant pot, cook bacon over medium-low heat until fat has rendered, and bacon is golden and crisp, (about 10 to 15 minutes). I just leave the bacon in there, but the NYT says to remove them and set aside.
- Remove chicken from wine, reserving the marinade. Pat chicken pieces with paper towels until dry. Turn up the heat over the bacon to med/high. Working in batches if necessary, add chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (Add oil if the pot looks a little dry.) Transfer chicken to a plate as it browns.
- Add diced onion, carrot, half the mushrooms and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pot. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 8 minutes, stirring up any brown bits from the pot, and adjusting heat if necessary to prevent burning.
- Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then stir in flour and cook for another minute. Remove from heat, push vegetables to one side of pot, pour brandy into empty side, and ignite with a match. (If you’re too nervous to ignite it, just cook brandy down for 1 minute.) Once the flame dies down, add reserved marinade, bring to a boil, and reduce halfway (to 1 1/2 cups), about 12 minutes. Skim off any large pockets of foam that form on the surface.
- Add chicken, any accumulated juices and half the cooked bacon to the pot. If using a dutch oven, cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour (or more), turning halfway through. Uncover pot and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary. I often use my Instant Pot and just put the lid on and have it slow cook for as long as I need. I’ve left it in there for 5 hours before and it is still tender, juicy, flavorful and delicious!