Choc au Vin

Choc au Vin

Coq au Vin, is a French dish traditionally made by braising rooster with wine and aromatics. It’s a great technique to tenderize tough old cocks and it’s pretty similar to another French favorite, beef bourguignon.

For those with a better memory than mine, you may remember my last Coq au Vin. It was really good, but true to the name of this blog, I don’t use recipe (not even my own), and I tend to come up with different variations every time I make something. For me, a recipe is simply a snapshot in time that captures one iteration of a dish.

The ingredients I use change with the seasons and with my mood. In the end, my goal isn’t to come up with the “perfect” recipe, in fact, in my view of the world, there’s no such thing. In the same way a fashionista adds new styles to their wardrobe while mixing and matching different combinations, I’m a foodie that likes to experiment with new ingredients and try them in different combinations.

This time around, I added dark chocolate at the very end, to give the sauce that earthy nutty flavor of cacao and a rich luxurious texture on your tongue. This may sound like an odd addition to some, but if you’ve ever had a mole rojo at a Mexican restaurant, you know what a great addition chocolate can be to a savory sauce.

Give this Choc au Vin a try or go back to the original, either way, have fun with what you cook and make it work for your pantry and your diet, but most importantly, make it work for you!

1/3 lb. extra thick cut bacon cut into batons
8 chicken thighs with skin and bone
smoked sea salt
black pepper
1 large onion chopped
1 large stalk celery chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced thin
3 Tbs Cognac or Armanac
2 C Malbec
2 C chicken stock
1 California bay leaf
6 sprigs thyme
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs flour
1/2 lbs button mushrooms quartered
1/2 lbs cipollini onions peeled
1.5oz Dark Chocolate (82% Cacao)
1/3 C roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

In a large chef’s pan or dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat until most of the fat has rendered out (but not until the bacon is crisp). Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place in the hot pan, skin side down. Leave undisturbed for 6-7 minutes or until skin is golden brown, then flip allowing to brown lightly on the second side. Transfer to plate.

Remove 2 Tbs of fat from the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft, scrapping the fond off the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t burn. Deglaze the pan using the cognac. Allow most of the liquid to evaporate, then add the red wine, chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and tomato paste. Return the bacon and chicken to the pan and turn several times to make sure they are well coated and submerged in the liquid. Cover with the lid slightly askew (so steam can escape) and simmer over medium low heat until the chicken is tender 35-45 minutes.

Add 2 Tbs flour to the fat you’ve reserved and stir until there are no lumps. When the chicken is tender, transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and turn up the heat to medium, simmering uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the onions are cooked and the sauce has reduced a bit. Add a few tablespoons of sauce to the fat/flour mixture and stir to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce in the pan one spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition to make sure there are no lumps. I don’t like my sauce too thick, so I stopped about 2/3 of the way through, but if you like a very thick sauce, you can add all the roux. Salt and pepper to taste, then add the chocolate and stir vigorously to melt the chocolate into the braising liquid. Return the chicken to to pot to reheat and coat with the sauce.

Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or as a stew with a crusty baguette. Plate the Choc au Vin and sprinkle some smoked sea salt and parsley on top to garnish.

  • http://tastycolours.blogspot.com/ magdalena

    Yes, this dish tasty. Unfortunately, I am not a great fun of coq au vin, as opposed to its variation from Alsace – coq au riesling….or au champagne…but choc au vin ? Why not !

  • vanillasugar

    this is genius…i just love it. nice & rich.

  • http://www.kitchentravels.com Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    I love a really good mole, so this is right up my alley. Looks so luscious! But I think I may have to save this one for when the weather turns cool again. :)

  • http://by12on.blogspot.com byron

    you are on such a chocolate marathon! love it.

  • http://twitter.com/DinnersDreams Nisrine Merzouki

    Coq au vin with added dark chocolate? That must be something really special!

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Amazing! I can only imagine how lovely and rich that would taste. Another great idea Marc!

  • thelacquerspoon

    I really like Coq au Vin, which has a complicated depth of flavour, but always eat outside. Your recipe is now motivating me to try it at home :)

  • http://bunkycooks.com bunkycooks

    I love Coq au Vin. It is one of my favorite classic dishes. I can imagine the addition of chocolate making this even richer and adding a whole other level of flavor. Thanks for the inspiration to try something different with the dish.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Looks divine, Marc.. But I've had neither Coq au Vin or Mole Rojo! How tragic is that??

  • Anonymous

    That sounds delicious! I haven’t yet used the combination of Chocolate and Wine in any savory dishes, but I love to add chocolate or good dark coccoa, especially when it is unexpected. I remember I made quite a good dish (so they say :-) based on spring chicked, dried fruits (apricots, prunes) and coccoa powder. Although Google Translate makes quite an awful work here on the translation, you can get the overall sense of it here” (link seems garbled but that’s because it’s translating a Hebrew URL).

  • http://acookinglife.typepad.com GG Mora

    One of my friends, also a devoted cook, has a flock of chickens that includes an obnoxious rooster. This is the second time he's found himself wanting to off a rooster; the last time I suggested a coq au vin, neither of us had the fortitude to actually kill a bird, so he took it for a ride and left it at a larger farm. This time around, we're determined to do the right thing; just last Friday we were discussing bringing in an experienced chicken-killer to help us do the deed. We hadn't got to recipes yet; I tend to stick with the Classic Mode. But adding chocolate does sound interesting.

    I like to think of coq au vin as less a fixed recipe and more an 'every farmwife has her way' sort of thing. Maybe it all started as a time-to-kill-that-nasty-bastard event: a few lardons, some wine, onions, mushrooms…braise the hell out of that tough old bird.

  • Agirlthing

    I recently revisited your blog and cooked off it all week ! This was delicious! as was the roast chinese pork I made last night. I had to tweek both recipes, as I'm in france and I can't always get everything in your recipes, but I have to say I've enjoyed my week of your recipes immensely!

  • norecipes

    Great to hear:-) My recipes are meant to be tweaked, so I'm glad you were
    able to make them work for you!

  • qtx

    This looks delicious! I love your blog. The recipes are interesting and the pictures are GREAT! I am convinced that you can take a picture of any dish and make it look delicious. :)

  • Snitch

    You forgot to mention when you added the chocolate?! With the red wine? Or after you have removed the chicken but before the roux? Or after you’ve thickened and use it to finish the sauce like butter?

    Please advise!

  • Anonymous

    Oops, sorry about that! The chocolate goes in at the very end before you add
    the chicken back in. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect the change.

  • rita

    i’ve been reading your blog (on and off) for a bit now, and decided to de-lurk when i saw two ingredients that called my name – cognac and dark chocolate – 82% at that, too! i’m yours! (and yes, i love mole rojo. too bad, i haven’t seen that in any mexican restaurants i’ve been to here in germany)

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  • Helen

    I just tried your choc au vin recipe this past weekend. I made it the day before the party to let the flavors marinate more, and the guests loved it. The chocolate added a velvety texture and give that mole flavor. I personally prefer the classic coq au vin (i.e. I tasted it prior to adding the chocolate). Great recipes.

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Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!