Coq au vin (chicken in wine)

“Coq au vin”: in French sounds wonderfully well and leaves in the mind the feeling of something fancy, sumptuous, princely. In Italian, “chicken in wine”, sounds a little’ more free range, but soon presaged the taste of this dish: robust, DENSO, Saber. Of sumptuous there is definitely the taste and it was so much I wanted to prepare the coq au vin with the original French recipe, that involves baking the cockerel in a pot of cast iron or crock. The ideal pot, made of cast iron and signed Pentole Agnelli, I found it on Livingo, a new portal of online sales of furniture and accessories for the home: for me being a compulsive buyer of Cookware, small appliances, molds, dishes and fabrics, the kitchen section is unfortunately a temptation irresistible. Among other things, the range of prices is huge, as well as the brands offered: only for cast iron the choice between Le Creuset, Staub, Pentole Agnelli, Lodge, Sitram, Karl Kruger is broad enough to make crazy lovers. Chicken with wine came wonderfully well: Don't be scared by the long list of ingredients, because you only have to insert them in the marinade or during cooking, without any processing. The real secret to this dish, In addition to the cast iron pot, is the quality of the chicken (that must be free-range) and wine, they should be firm and soft. In France, It mainly uses a red wine of Burgundy, But if you want to use a Red Italian wine you can use an appropriately dell'Etna (Nerello Cappuccio or Nerello Mascalese-based), But even a Chianti Classico Docg.

COQ AU VIN - Coq au vin (French recipe)

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  • a chicken cut into pieces
  • 120 grams of bacon
  • little Virgin olive oil
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 20 grilled onions
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 carrots
  • 30 grams of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper, just enough
  • 30 grams of flour 00
  • Laurel, Rosemary, Timo, Sage
  • 40 milliliters of Cognac, Brandy or Grappa
  • 400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • Laurel, Rosemary, Timo, Sage
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves
  • 0,75 liters of red wine of Burgundy (or, to remain in Italy, red Etna, Nerello Mascalese, or Chianti Classico Docg)



At least one day before preparing the coq au vin, put the chicken pieces in a baking dish large (in order to place them in a single layer) and also add the ingredients for the marinade: The cloves of garlic, crushed, juniper berries, the black peppercorns, The cloves, sliced shallot and herbs. Pour wine over chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

After marinating, drain the chicken pieces and strain the marinade, eliminating herbs and spices and preserving the wine. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees static.

Cut the bacon into strips about half a centimetre thick. Put in a cast iron pot (or crock pot, you need anyway a pot with a lid that can be used in the oven) a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and Brown the bacon until it is crisp and part of the fat has melted. Put the Bacon by leaving the fat in the pot. Brown then chicken pieces, Let them Cook about 6-7 minutes per side on high heat, so that the skin becomes Golden and lose part of fat. Set them aside.

Deglaze the sauce pouring, over a very low heat, the Cognac to the Pan. Finely chop the shallot, the celery stick and a small carrot and brown them in the fat until lightly wilted, adding if necessary a little hot broth. Add the tomato paste and dissolve it with care in the chopped vegetables. Lay on the bottom of the pan the chicken pieces (under set the chest, over her thighs), pour the marinade preserved earlier, bring to a boil and let it soften until alcohol has evaporated. Add the boiling stock, season with salt, pepper and add fresh herbs (Laurel, Rosemary, Sage, Timo…). Dissolve flour in a little cold water and, Once you have obtained an emulsion smooth and without lumps, pour it into the Pan. Cooking, the presence of the flour will bind the bottom making it thicker and velvety.

Cover the pot, cast iron with its lid and put it in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes, then add to the chicken grilled onions and carrots cut into rings. Cook for another 15 minutes, then add the mushrooms and porcini mushrooms (If integers are small, cut into quarters if large) you have thoroughly cleaned from soil and to whom you will also cut the final part of the stalk. Cook again for 15 minutes, then remove the Pan from the oven: sample, to adjust the salt if necessary, and then rest the coq au vin for a few hours so that the flavors blend and balance well. If you want to get a fund similar to a glaze, and therefore very dense, I recommend, complete the cooking chicken, to remove the pieces from the pot, do narrow it down to your liking and then put chicken and vegetables into the Pan. Heat over low heat before serving.

My suggestion is to serve coq au vin with a side of mashed potatoes, dampening it thoroughly with the sauce and accompanied with all the vegetables with which you have cooked. Bon appétit!

THE PAIRING: Chianti Classico Docg, Vintage 2014, company Dievole. I'm used’ the same wine used for marinating the chicken. Bouquet of violets and ripe red berries, Dry Taste, soft and elegant, tannins well balanced with acidity.


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