I first tried to recreate a restaurant-quality coq au vin at home last May, and although the result was pretty tasty it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I found using bone-in chicken awkward, since the end result is like a stew, and the bones had to be fished out.
I came across another coq au vin recipe in a Better Homes & Gardens Ultimate Slow-Cooker magazine that I borrowed from Suzanne. It reminded me I wanted to give this traditional dish another go. I preferred this version, but it’s still not exactly right. It definitely needs some more seasoning — black pepper, a bay leaf, or maybe tarragon? Also, I liked the tomato paste called for in the first recipe I tried; it added some depth and nice color that I missed in this one. Plus the sauce in this recipe is very thin at the end. That’s fine if you’re putting it over noodles or rice, but it just lacked the right velvety mouth-feel I was looking for.
I’m posting the recipe as I made it, because my mother in law wants to try making it herself! That’s a lovely compliment to get. Also, A. told me that while this was cooking it smelled delicious, like pancakes. And he ate a whole piece of the chicken, sans veggies. I would make this dish with dark meat only, but I had some people eating with me that prefer white meat, so I used a combination of thighs and breasts.
Slow Cooker Coq au Vin, Second Try
Adapted from BH&G Ultimate Slow-Cooker
1 lb. frozen pearl onions
1 c. baby carrots (a large handful)
2.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
20 oz. mushrooms, cleaned & quartered (I like baby bellas, white are fine too)
1 c. beef stock
1/2 c. dry red wine
In a large (6 qt.) slow cooker, layer the ingredients in the order listed above. Cook for 4 hours on high, then season to taste. Serve over egg noodles or rice to soak up the cooking liquid.