Coq Au Vin

4 ounces thick cut bacon-cut into rectangles 1/4 long across and 1 inch long
2.5-3# cut-up chicken, or only thighs and drumsticks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups red wine-we use Merlot
1-2 cups chicken or beef stock
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter

12-24 pearl onions
1.5 tablespoons butter
1.5 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
herb bouquet-4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 # mushrooms, quartered 
salt and pepper

  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer, add the bacon and simmer for 10 minutes.  Rinse in cold water.  Dry.
  • Using a Dutch oven, saute the bacon in 2 tablespoons of the butter until it is lightly browned.  Remove the bacon to a plate.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry the chicken pieces.  
  • Brown in the hot butter and bacon fat.
  • Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, return the bacon to the pot.  
  • Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turn the chicken once.
  • Uncover, and pour in the cognac.  This is the fun part....keeping your face away from the pot, ignite the cognac with a match, shake the pot back and forth for several seconds until the flame stops.
  • Pour the wine into the pot.  
  • Add enough stock (1-2 cups) to cover the chicken.  
  • Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs.
  • Bring to a simmer, cover and cook slowly for 25-30 minutes.  
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

  1. Peel the onions
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet.
  3. When the fat is bubbling, add the onions and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions so they brown evenly and don't break their skins.
  4. Pour in the stock, season to taste and add the herb bouquet.
  5. Cover and simmer slowly for 40-50 minutes until tender, and the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Remove the herb bouquet

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms, toss and shake the pan for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. As soon as the mushrooms have begun to brown, remove from the heat.  Season to taste.

  • Remove the chicken to a plate.
  • Simmer the chicken, cooking liquid in the pot for a minute or two, skimming off the fat.
  • Raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups.  
  • Correct the seasoning, remove from heat and remove the bay leaf
  • Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste.
  • Whisk the paste into the liquid.  
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring for a minute or two.  The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon.
  • Remove the chicken from the bones and add the meat back into the sauce.
  • Add the mushrooms and onions to the pot.
  • Bring to a simmer and heat through.
  • Serve with buttered noodles, potatoes or crusty bread.