Culture: Coq au Vin | Wine Enthusiast
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Courtesy Jamie Malone, chef/owner, Grand Cafe, Minneapolis

This is a traditional version of the French stew, with one genius addition: fresh croutons. To stay the classic course, use a bottle of red Burgundy to make this, though any dry red will also work.

This coq au vin recipe does call for a whole chicken cut into eight pieces. Your butcher can do it for you, but it’s easy to do yourself with a heavy knife or meat cleaver and kitchen shears. Be sure to save any parts for homemade chicken stock.

Place chicken on a large cutting board with the legs facing you. Where the legs meet the breast, slice through the skin to expose the meat, then bend with your hands until the ball joints “pop” from the sockets. Slice at this joint to separate legs.

To separate drumsticks from thighs, look for a line of fat between them, which is where the joint is, and cut firmly to separate them.

With the breast side down, use kitchen shears to cut down either side of the backbone and remove the back and neck in one piece. Cut through the breastbone to separate breast into two halves.

Cut off the first two wing joints and leave the third joint attached to the breast. Cut each breast half crosswise into two pieces.

This method leaves the meaty part of the wings attached to the breast, discarding the wing tips. If you really love wings, you can leave them intact, and cut through the joint to separate them from the breasts.


1 (5–6 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 bottle red Burgundy, or other dry red wine
¼ pound slab bacon, diced
8 ounces small white button mushrooms, stems trimmed
16 frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 carrots, peeled, cut into ¼-inch coins
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
¼ cup brandy
1½ tablespoons flour
1 bouquet garni (recipe follows)
Chicken stock, if needed
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 cup toasted sourdough croutons


One day prior to cooking, place chicken in large bowl or pot, and submerge in wine. Cover and store in refrigerator.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from wine. Reserve liquid. Pat chicken dry. Warm Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook bacon until fat begins to render. Add mushrooms, pearl onions and carrots. Cook until bacon crisps, and vegetables become brown and tender. Transfer to plate. Set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot and brown on all sides, working in batches, if necessary. Transfer to plate. Set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to pot, followed by diced onion and celery. Cook until onion browns. Add brandy, and stir until evaporated. Stir in flour. Pour in reserved wine, scraping browned bits from bottom of pot. Add chicken and bouquet garni. If meat is exposed, add enough stock to cover. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove chicken. Strain liquid, and return to pan. Boil sauce until thick enough to coat spoon. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Return chicken, bacon and vegetables to pot, and heat through. Serve topped with parsley, chives and croutons. Serves 4.

Bouquet Garni

Wrap 4 thyme sprigs, ½ bunch parsley, 4 bay leaves, 4 cloves and 1 tablespoon peppercorns in cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine.

Wine Pairing

Domaine Badeur-Mimeur 2014 Château de Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge. “This wine has a lovely structure with moderate acid and a nice tannic grip to complement the richness of this dish,” says Scarlett Carrasco Polanco, wine director/sommelier at Grand Cafe.

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