Ah, Coq Au Vin. Classic French comfort food. Juicy chicken, simmered and braised in wine with carrots, onions, garlic and shallots. When the weather turns chilly, it begs to be eaten in front of a fire. It is dreamy food. But classic, true, authentic Coq Au Vin ala Julia Childs or the Cooks Atelier takes exactly 100 hours to prepare. I’m a sucker for spending all day in the kitchen, but life rarely allows for it with busy little boys. Our Easy Coq Au Vin still serves up all the comforting goodness of the traditional dish with big, bold flavors, but it skips a few steps. And I promise you won’t miss it.
Our easy Coq Au Vin is the first of several recipes we’re adding to the new “Gather” section of the Live Life Love Food Site found right at the top right of the home page.
When you see your friends in passing, how often do you say “We want to have you over for dinner”, “We should get together.” We miss you!” Life moves fast, and it’s hard to take the time and effort for dinner parties. Not even fancy dinner parties. But simply time to gather around a table, sit down and share a meal. Have a real conversation. When we gather around the table, we nourish not only our bodies, but our souls. Memories are made, adventures planned and relationships cemented when we break bread with the people that are important to us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
In our new Gather section, you will find recipes worthy of feeding your loved ones when you gather them around your table. Almost all of them can be made completely in advance so you can relax and enjoy spending time with your people.⠀⠀⠀
For my first attempt at Coq Au Vin, I used a recipe from the Cooks Atelier, a drool worthy cookbook written by an expat mother daughter team currently living in the Burgundy region of France. There are photos and stories of their quaint little shop, cooking school, their local market and their suppliers. A week long immersion experience at their cooking school is high on my bucket list. Someone please tell my husband. 😉
I think by the time I finished cooking though, we ate around 10pm. A fantastic meal, but it took FOREVER. The recipe is exacting with steps like, “with a paring knife, make an X in each pearl onion, soak them in water and then peel off the outer layer of each pearl onion.” Followed by the peeling of the mushroom caps, blanching of finishing vegetables and straining and reducing of sauces. Which is all well and good. I have a deep respect for the authentic method of cooking a traditional dish in the traditional way. However, in real day to day life, I think we all just want to feed our people flavorful, amazing food without spending all day doing it while toddlers climb our legs and lego directions wait impatiently to be deciphered.
So, that’s we did today. For a full, step by step step process, go check out my Instagram stories- under highlights click Coq Au Vin icon. I won’t pretend this is exactly the same as the traditional version, but it was AMAZING and it look less than an hour of active cooking. And God bless my husband for keeping our darling, but distracting children out of our kitchen for an entire hour.
Tips for Easy Coq Au Vin
- When browning the chicken thighs, start skin side down. When the chicken is ready to flip, it will release itself from the pan. Don’t try to force it.
- Chop ALL veggies and measure out liquids prior to even turning on your stove. You’ll thank me.
- To clean the mushrooms- use a damp paper towel-never run them under water. Mushrooms absorb liquid and you want them to absorb the garlic butter flavors, not water.
Once you pop the pot into the oven, all that’s left is to invite your people over and choose a wine. Alan picked up this John Ryan Willamette pinot noir and it was a stellar find for twenty bucks. My plan was to cook this on Saturday and eat in on Sunday, as this is the kind of thing that will always taste even better on day two. But when our child care for Saturday date night fell through, we changed our plans and invited our friends over for dinner instead.
In front of a crackling fire, laughing about old memories and planning new adventures, our tummies warm and full, we all agreed staying in was far superior to the evening out we had planned. So, moral of the story is this- spend an hour in the kitchen, invite your people, open the wine and enjoy.
Happy Cooking my friends-what are your favorite winter comfort meals?