Coq Au Vin Blanc

Coq Au Vin Blanc in a dutch oven ready to serve

Wine Country Chicken
Living as close as we do to The Napa Valley is a very cool thing for those of us who occasionally enjoy a nice sip of wine. Spending time amongst the vines and sunshine is always a great way to enjoy your day even if you’re not wine tasting. (Eating your way through the area isn’t a bad pastime either except, perhaps, for your waistline.)

While the Napa Valley is known for its big Cabernets and oaky Chardonnays, personally I prefer the lighter wines. I admit, I am a Sauvignon Blanc kinda gal. A crisp cold glass while relaxing on my patio after a long day at work sounds like heaven to me but I would not turn down a lovely Rosé either.

I am the same way when cooking with wine. I will almost always substitute a white wine for a red except for those recipes where you just cannot like this Beef Bourguignon One exception to that philosophy that I have found is coq au vin.

I love coq au vin any time of the year, although most people think of it as a Fall dish. However, if you use a white wine or even a Rosé, this Coq au Vin Blanc dish lightens up considerably and transforms into a great meal for a warm spring evening. I mean, you really can’t ever go wrong with wine, chicken, and garlic together in any form. And, if you can find fresh morel mushrooms, even better.

I used rosé in the recipe below, but you can always swap it out for your favorite white just be sure to save a little for sipping as you wait.

Coq Au Vin Blanc Recipe
Yields 4 servings
Adapted from NY Times Cooking

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3-1/2-pound chicken
Salt and ground white pepper
8 ounces white pearl onions
1 medium yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic
9 ounces oyster mushrooms, fresh morels, or other available mushrooms
3/4 cup rose or white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced parsley

Prep the ingredients
Cut the chicken into 10 pieces and pat them dry. Blanch the white pearl onions (about 3 minutes) and peel them. Finely chop the yellow onion and celery. Slice the garlic and trim and separate the mushrooms.

Brown the chicken
Heat the olive oil on medium-high in a 4-quart stovetop Dutch oven or sauté pan. Working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and turn to brown on the other side. Remove to a platter when done and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Prep the veggies
Add the pearl onions to the Dutch oven and toss in fat until lightly browned. Remove the onions to a dish and set aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped yellow onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until softened, and stir in the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are wilted, add the wine, and bring the pan to a simmer. Season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Finish cooking the chicken
Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven with any accumulated juices. Baste the chicken, and cover the pot. Cook while basting a few more times (about 30 minutes). Remove the chicken to a platter.

Thicken the sauce
Increase heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce with the mushrooms until until sauce thickens slightly (about 5 minutes).

Finish the dish
Lower the heat and add the pearl onions and butter. When the butter melts, taste and adjust the seasonings.

Return the chicken to a Dutch oven, baste, and simmer for a few minutes. Serve directly from the Dutch oven or transfer the dish to a deep serving platter.

Scatter the parsley on top before serving.

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