This is an older recipe from Bon Appetit for Coq au Zin. You’re probably more familiar with Coq au Vin. Coq is French for ‘chicken’ and Vin is French for ‘wine.’ In this recipe, the wine used is a red zinfandel, thus the play on the name.
The Best Chicken Recipe:
Let me preface this post by saying that this recipe is a definite keeper! I first made this recipe many years ago for a family Christmas dinner. Chicken cooked in a lot of wine sounded great to all of us, and we were extremely happy with how it turned out. I’ve made this Coq au Zin recipe many, many times since then. It’s the kind of recipe that is perfect to make for a special occasion or when you just feel like making a really delicious chicken dinner.
- all purpose flour
- olive oil
- bone-in chicken thighs
- pearl onions
- crimini mushrooms
- fresh marjoram
- bottle of red Zinfandel
- chicken broth
- fresh chives
How to make Coq au Zin:
Chopped bacon is sautéed until crisp. I use center cut bacon (more meat, less fat). The bacon is removed to a towel-lined plate. The grease is left in the pan. Flour-dusted chicken is browned in the bacon fat on both sides, and then it’s removed to a casserole dish to await additions.
Shallots are sautéed with garlic, crimini mushrooms, pearl onions and fresh marjoram. A bottle of red zinfandel is added to the mushroom mixture, along with chicken stock and the reserved bacon.
This mixture is then poured on top of the chicken in the glass baking dishes. The pans are covered tightly with foil and then placed into the oven where the Coq au Zin has a chance to simmer in that wonderful liquid for an hour.
The chicken is then removed from the pan to a platter, along with the strained vegetables. The remaining liquid is left to simmer for a short time and is thickened with a butter/flour mixture.
You’re likely to have a good amount of sauce, so place the chicken and veggies into a large serving bowl or deep platter, and pour the sauce on top. Then sprinkle on fresh chives. The liquid helps the Coq au Zin to stay warm on the table and it keeps it moist and tender.
Everyone I make this chicken for wants seconds (and the leftovers are great too!) It’s not often that you can really rave about a chicken recipe, but this one is utterly delicious. It would be a great recipe for a gourmet dinner club party too. Serve with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Oven Roasted Green Beans. My friend chef Dennis has a great recipe for Coq au Vin for two, if there are just two of you. Enjoy!
Coq au Zin
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (trim excess fat)
- ¾ cup chopped shallots (about 4 shallots)
- 3 medium garlic cloves minced
- 16 ounces pearl onions, peeled
- 12 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered (about 5 cups)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
- One 750ml. bottle red Zinfandel wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
- Place 1 cup flour in shallow dish; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bacon drippings in the pot. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, coat the chicken thighs with flour and add to the pot; sear until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange the chicken thighs in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish (or any combination of glass dishes that will fit the chicken).
- Spoon out all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add the shallots and garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute. Add the onions, crimini mushrooms, and marjoram and sauté until onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the red Zinfandel and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Add the chicken stock and bacon; boil for 5 minutes.
- Pour the wine mixture over the chicken in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil; bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken thighs to the platter or a large, deep bowl. Strain the wine mixture from the baking dish into a heavy medium saucepan. Transfer the onion and mushroom mixture to the platter with the chicken; tent with foil to keep warm. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and butter in a small bowl to blend. Bring the wine mixture to boil. Whisk in the flour mixture and boil until the sauce thickens and is reduced to 2¾ cups, about 8 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the sauce over the chicken and vegetables; sprinkle with chives.