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A cruel mockery of coq au vin

This is not coq au vin. This is a recipe for something else entirely. However, if you are having guests over who don’t care about details or know anything about French food, It Will Do, because it is pretty damn tasty anyhow. It will also do if you are alone at home and feel a bit fancy, but not TOO fancy. Notice: No lardons, no mushrooms, and no overnight soaking (seriously?). If someone French is coming over, do not make this for them, they will make fun of you.

I know I have posted two chicken braises in a row, but who cares, you’re not my boss.

A cruel mockery of coq au vin

  • one chicken, cut into pieces1
  • flour, salt, pepper
  • unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • one half to a whole a bottle of red wine, preferably cheap2
  • a whole “tub” of Trader Joe’s mirepoix3, or about 2 1/2 cups diced onion, carrot, and celery in equal proportions
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, halved4
  • tomato paste

Dust the chicken with flour, salt, and pepper. Melt about a tablespoon or two of butter in a hot (oven-safe) pan, and then sear the chicken in butter (which might brown, but that’s okay) skin side down until skin is brown and/or crispy. Remove chicken, add wine to the pan, scrape up the delicious brown bits, bring to a boil, reduce halfway, and then pour over the chicken. Reserve both chicken and wine (do not throw these out: coq au vin means “cock (a chicken dude) au wine,” after all).

Melt another large pat of butter in the pan, now over slightly lower heat. Inhale deeply the sweet and cloying-but-pleasant aroma of grape must mixing with butter. Add the mirepoix and sautée until just starting to brown. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, then add the chicken broth and thyme. Stir until much of the liquid has been absorbed, then place the chicken neatly on top of the mirepoix and pour the wine mixture over. Bring to a zzzesty simmer, cover it, and place it in the oven. Braise for 2-3 hours.

Remove chicken, bring pan of sauce to a bit of a boil, stir in the tomato paste, and reduce the sauce to desired thickness. (I like it thick, hahaha). Do not forget to pour this over the chicken when you serve it.

I served this aberration of French cuisine with lentils and steamed spinach, but do whatever you want. Who even cares, right?

1 Or just whichever parts you like best. I used two thighs and a breast, because that is what fit in my pan. I ended up with more sauce than I needed, but use your judgment

2 I am so ashamed of the bottle I bought (a $5 zinfandel) I am not even going to write down the brand’s name.

3 I am, however, not ashamed of this. Pre-diced mirepoix is a great idea and Trader Joe’s should be lauded for it.

4 I like them halved because sometimes I’m lazy, but also because I think it nice to bite into large braised chunks of garlic (in the same way that roasted garlic is so very pleasant and toasty).


  1. Ellen says:

    No mushrooms?! BLASPHEMY. Every dish should contain mushrooms.

  2. MUSHROOM KING says:

    I agree. More mushrooms! More more more mushrooms!

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