Coq au Vin
"Rooster in Wine"
An old rooster is the best option for this dish because its connective tissue makes the broth rich and very flavorful, but finding a rooster to braise can be a pretty difficult task here in the U.S. However, with the recent resurgence of families raising their own chickens for heritage farm fresh eggs, you might know someone with an old rooster that needs to be “tamed!” If not, feel free to substitute chicken.
Serves 6, total time:
- 1 old rooster or chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups canola oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 parsley stems
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 24 peppercorns
- 4 juniper berries
- 1 cheesecloth bag
- 1 750 ml. bottle Twomey Pinot Noir
- 1 quart chicken broth
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ pound slab bacon, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place rooster pieces into a bowl and toss with salt and pepper until evenly coated. Toss with flour until all the pieces are coated.
- In a large Dutch oven on high heat, add the canola oil and sear the pieces until all sides are golden brown. Take out of the oil and let the meat rest on a plate. Discard the hot oil and clean out the pot.
- Place bay leaves, parsley, garlic, peppercorns and juniper berries in the cheesecloth bag. Add the rooster back to the pot along with the bottle of Pinot Noir, chicken broth and the bag of spices. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
- Put olive oil and bacon in a large oven proof sauté pan. Place the pan into the oven and cook for 12 minutes or until the bacon is golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
- After the rooster has cooked for 2 hours, add the reserved bacon and vegetables to the pot. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or longer if the meat is not yet tender.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve over mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, or buttered noodles.
People often chuckle when I suggest cooking with our Silver Oak and Twomey Wines. While this may not be financially viable for some, I do want to stress the importance of the quality of the wine you use, especially for a wine-centric dish like this. For coq au vin the quality of the Pinot Noir is very important. Choose a wine that you would drink on its own. If the wine is too tart or high in acid, the sauce in this dish will be very sour. Play it safe and use our Twomey Pinot Noir.