Alton Brown's Coq Au Vin

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins




  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large sealable plastic bag along with the flour.
  • Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat along with the bacon.
  • Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the bacon cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
  • Brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan.
  • Transfer the chicken into a 7 to 8-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
  • Add the mushrooms to the same pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine.
  • Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
  • Once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm.
  • Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf.
  • Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve.