Coq au Vin a l’Ancienne

(Chicken in Red Wine, Ancient Recipe)


  • ¼ slab of bacon
  • 3 lb chicken
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 small onions
  • Diced carrots
  • Diced celery
  • ¼ cup Cognac
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed not chopped
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • ½ lb mushrooms, quartered
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • Beurre Manié (1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp flour)


    1)     Remove the rind from ¼ slab of bacon and cut the bacon into ½ inch dice.

    2)     Cut chicken into serving pieces and pat it dry with paper towels.

    3)     To make the beurre manié, knead together 1 Tbsp each of flour and butter.  This creates a type of dough which will not lump when it interacts with a warm liquid. It is used to thicken soups, sauces and stews.


    1)     In a large skillet sauté cut pieces of chicken in 2 Tbsp each of butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until it is browned on all sides.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

    2)     Add to the pan the bacon and 12 very small onions, diced carrots and celery.  Cook over moderate heat tossing it for 5 minutes.  Pour the fat from the pan and return the chicken to the pan.

    3)     Add ¼ cup of Cognac, heat it, ignite it, and shake the pan until the flames go out.  Add 1 cup of dry red wine, 2 crushed garlic cloves, ½ tsp thyme, 1 crumbled bay leaf, and simmer the chicken partially covered for 15 minutes.

    4)     Add ½ cup more of dry red wine, turn the chicken pieces and simmer for 10 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken with tongs to a heated dish to keep it warm.

    5)     Add ½ lb of quartered mushrooms and ¼ cup of minced parsley.  Simmer the mixture.  Stir in bits of beurre manié, simmer the sauce, stirring for 2 minutes or until it is slightly thickened.


    Add salt and pepper to taste and pour the sauce over the chicken.  Serves 4 people.  Serve alone, with potatoes, rice or over noodles.  A French baguette is best for soaking up the juices in the sauce.  Pair with a Burgundy wine or Cotes du Rhone.  Bon Appetit!

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