The classic French coq au vin is prepared with an old rooster, that is tough but full of flavor when cooked properly. This is not coq au vin. An old rooster is essentially impossible to come by in an American market, and if you happen to live on a farm, your rooster probably has more important duties than a long slow braise in a bacchanalian hot tub. This recipe is an ode to that famous dish, leveraging some of the chicken thigh’s unique properties to create something both completely different and comfortingly familiar. After an overnight soak in wine and herbs, we will slowly braise the thighs in homemade stock, coaxing out even more of the rich collagen that makes the thigh such an unctuous portion. We will leverage the resulting braising liquid to create a glaze and a rich wine sauce that presents beautifully and tastes great.
You can serve this dish almost anyway you want: Tourne and braise some potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and radishes for a classic style dish akin to a chicken version of bourguignon, or serve over noodles, or with lucious brown butter braised marble potatoes (recipe included below.) These potatoes are amazing, sweet, rich, creamy exploding marbles of flavor.
Ce N’est Pas un Coq au Vin
Chicken Thigh Version of Coq au Vin
- Wine Braised Chicken
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 cups plus 2 tbsp Burgundy wine or Pinot Noir
2 cups light chicken stock (*see note)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
5 small shallots
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Brown Butter Potatoes
1 lb small, marble potatoes
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sprigs thyme
Sea salt for garnish
- Season the chicken pieces well on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken, 2 cups of wine, and 1 sprig of thyme to a storage bag.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Braised Chicken
- Preheat your oven to 300°.
- Remove chicken from the marinade, allowing as much marinade as possible to drip off.
- Dry the tops of each thigh by dabbing with a paper towel.
- Sear the chicken pieces, skin-side down, until well browned and rendered.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, and discard all but about 1 tsp of fat.
- Peel, trim, and slice one shallot.
- Add the sliced shallot to the pan and cook over a low flame until the shallot is well browned, deglazing with water as necessary and scraping up any fond (the delicious brown bits) that has formed on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the marinade, chicken stock, and remaining thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan skin-side up. You will want to choose an oven-safe pan that fits all of the chicken but allows just the top to peak out from the liquid.
- Peel and trim the remaining shallots and arrange them whole in the pan.
- Bring the pan to a simmer, and transfer to the oven.
- Cook for 2 hours, or until the chicken is falling tender from the bone and the sauce is greatly reduced.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and gently lift the chicken pieces and onto a plate to cool. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up the skin while reducing the sauce and glaze. Remove the whole shallots and reserve for garniture.
- Strain the liquid in the pan through a fine mesh strainer and return to the pan to reduce over a low flame.
- When it has reduced to approximately ½ cup, remove from the heat. Use a silicone pastry brush to brush this glaze over the tops of the chilled chicken pieces. It should set almost immediately into an even glaze.
- To finish, return the glazed thighs and whole shallots to the oven to warm.
- Return the remaining glaze to a pan on the stove over a low flame to heat through. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of wine to the glaze and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and swirl in 2 tbsp of room temperature butter.
- To serve, pool the sauce on the plate, set one glazed chicken thigh in the center of the sauce, along with one wine-braised shallot. Garnish with fresh herbs – sprigs of thyme, fresh chervil, and / or parsley.
- Brown Butter Potatoes
- Choose a pan that will hold the potatoes in a single layer with very little extra space.
- Add the butter to a pan over medium heat.
- Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the potatoes whole and stir to coat them well.
- Add the salt and the leaves from one sprig of thyme.
- Put a lid on the pot, and cook over a low flame until the potatoes are tender and the butter is uniformly browned (about 30 minutes).
- Remove the potatoes to a serving plate using a slotted spoon. Reserve the browned butter for later use if desired.
- You will want to use real, homemade stock for this recipe. If you do not have stock or the ability to make it, you can add one half sachet of gelatin to the 2 cups of stock specified.