Dish #9: Coq au Riesling (France)

For some reason, I am intimidated by French cooking. It seems like that is where all the big shot chefs go to learn how to cook. I mean, hello, Julia Child. But still, I think I can handle it.

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Coq au Vin. It’s a quintessential French dish. I feel like it is always used on TV shows and Movies whenever someone wants to convey how French some restaurant is. Coq au vin, or a similar dish, can be traced back as far as Julius Caesar, but it wasn’t actually documented until the early 20th century. Julia Child featured the dish in her famous cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking in 1961 and often made it on her PBS show, which sort of brought the dish into the limelight, so to speak, in the United States.

Even though “coq au vin” is pretty much just “chicken with wine” it never really occurred to me that you could use many different types of wine. Typically, Burgundy is used, but there are other versions found in the different regions of France using local wines.I’m definitely a white wine kinda girl, so that is why I got so excited/intrigued when I heard there was such thing as Coq au Riesling. I love Riesling! It is my favorite wine.

Riesling is actually a German wine, but a late-ripening Riesling is found in Alsace, a region in France along the German border. The cuisine in this area is highly influenced by Germanic culture and many of the world’s most notable rieslings come from this area.

Due to my fear reluctance to attempt French cooking, I didn’t create this recipe. I did some research and found this recipe for Coq au Riesling that looked both delicious and easy and I was right.

I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter.

Coq au Riesling (from Karen Saretsky at Serious Eats)

Gather your ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 thick-cut strips of bacon, cut into lardons (strips of pork fat. For this dish, just use the bacon)
  • 1 chicken, in 10 pieces (2 breasts, cut in half, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings)
    **I only used 2 skin-on chicken breasts because it was just for me and my husband. I didn’t need that much chicken.
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 onion, medium diced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups dry Riesling
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

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1. Melt butter in 12-inch, pan over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Using slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper-towel lined plate. Reserve fat in pan.

2. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towel. Season with salt. Return sauté pan to medium high heat until lightly smoking. Add chicken pieces skin side down. Cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to large plate.

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3.Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan (I didn’t need to remove anything). Add onions and mushrooms and cook on low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and onions have started to soften and caramelize a bit, about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt.

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4. Add the Riesling, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return chicken to pan and cover. I added the chicken skin-side down because that is where all the meat is (you can see in the picture) and I wanted to make sure it cooked through. Lower the heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes. Add bacon back to the pan, and season with black pepper. Simmer uncovered an additional 15 minutes until chicken is done.

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Yes, that is Barefoot wine you see! $5.99 a bottle and it’s delicious! I pretty much always have a bottle, or two, in my house.

5. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large serving platter. Raise heat to medium-high, and reduce to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche and parsley, and pour over the chicken. Serve immediately, family-style, with warm, crusty, rustic bread or buttered wide egg noodles tossed with freshly chopped parsley.

I served mine with crusty bread and it was perfect for soaking up the yummy sauce. The chicken was cooked perfectly. The braising really helped lock in the juices. The sauce was light but still filling and comforting. You could really taste the bacon flavor and the slight sweet from the wine. No single flavor over-powered any other one. And it made me feel all fancy and Frenchy! This would be a great date-night meal or to pull out whenever you need to impress someone!

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Sorry, I’m still getting the hang of taking blog pictures that show just how yummy my dishes are. I guess this one is fine, but the coq au riesling was soooo yummy!

Enjoy!!

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