Coq au Vin – Worth the Effort


Coq au Vin Over White Rice

Coq au Vin is a complex meal to make and will only be as good as the wine you use. The balance with the wine is the better the wine, the higher the cost. One acceptable compromise which has become the house wine of many happy hour bars is Barefoot Merlot. I’ve had more than a few happy hour glasses of the stuff at the Palms Beach Hotel and it is acceptable for the price. At home I drink a more expensive wine but went out of my way to buy the bottle for cooking this meal and the other half didn’t go to waste.

This is definitely not a coffee pot meal and is so rich, it barely qualifies as a meal for one. The only major substitution is that I used olive oil instead of butter and diced ham instead of bacon. Additionally, I used both cocktail onions for their appearance and ½ of a small yellow onion for flavor. I also modified the method so I only had to clean one pan because I hate to dirty every skillet and pot in the house to make a meal for one person.

Because of the complexity set aside about 4 hours to marinade the chicken and another four hours to cook the meal. Since I worked in the morning and it was a rainy miserable afternoon, it was an ideal day for Coq au Vin. The chicken was marinated for 4 hours at room temperature but could go a day if refrigerated.

This meal is definitely worth the extra effort.


Step 1:

2 chicken legs or any other pieces you have and like.

12 small white cocktail onions

1 carrot quartered

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon parsley

½ bottle Barefoot Merlot or other wine made from grapes of the Burgundy District

Step 2:

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

4 oz diced ham instead of bacon

4 oz mushrooms

Step 3:

½ small yellow onion sliced

Step 5:

1 teaspoon minced garlic

This is the most complex meal for one that I can remember cooking so I will present it in steps.

Marinade the Chicken Legs

Step 1: Place the chicken, cocktail onion, quartered carrot, bay, thyme and parsley in a bowl and cover with a half bottle of Merlot.

Browning the Mushrooms and Ham

Step 2: Brown the ham at about 275 for 10 minutes and add mushrooms and stir for another five minutes. Remove from the fondue pot or skillet and set aside in a bowl for later use.

Browning the Legs and Onions

Step 3: Remove the Chicken from the wine and add it to the fondue pot or skillet. Add the sliced yellow onion.

Step 4: Remove the cocktail onions from the wine and put in bowl with ham and mushrooms.

Wine, Carrots, Chicken, and Onions Cooking

Step 5: Add the garlic and carrots to the chicken and stir for 3-4 minutes then add the wine to the skillet or fondue pot. Reduce the temperature to 220 and simmer for 2 hours. Drink the other half bottle of wine while your waiting but don’t forget to make rice or noodles.

All in th Pot

Step 6: Add the mushrooms, ham and cocktail onions back to the pot and let come to temperature, about 15 minutes.

Step 7: Serve over rice or noodles.

This was really good except that it is so rich that I only ate half. I never would have believed that statement a year ago. I love my new Fondue Pot as an additional tool in cooking meals for one.

Bon Appitit

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3 Responses to “Coq au Vin – Worth the Effort”

  1. Tes Says:

    Wow the chicken looks so juicy and delicious! It sounds so flavourful.

    • Poppa John Says:

      This is a rich meal and very flavorful but my best advice is use a wine that you would drink anyway. The wine is the basis of the flavor and if you don’t like the wine, you wont like the meal.

  2. Beef Bourguignon « Coffee Pot Cooking Says:

    […] for a lot less work, Beef Stroganoff is easier and tastes just as good. This was not my opinion on Coq au Vin which I thought was worth the effort even if there were multiple steps. Because of the temperatures […]

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