My absolute favorite comfort dish to make: Coq Au Vin with Cheesy Cauliflower Grits.
Coq au vin is my favorite dish to make in the winter. Something magical happens when chicken, herbs, and wine bake in a Dutch oven.
This gorgeous symphony marinades together to create, for me, that quintessential comfort flavor. More than the sum of its parts; coq au vin is an experience in taste.
Alex and I have gone to bed at 8:00pm three times this week. It’s like we just started hibernation or something. I’ve never been so excited to go to sleep so early in my life.
With being early to bed, it’s really feeling like winter is here. And with that comes wanting to snuggle up in warm socks and eat stews all week. This coq au vin is seriously needed to assuage that desire.
My coq is made with mushrooms, pancetta, a handful of thyme and a generous pour of red wine. I’ve served it to a crowd and for two, and each time it was finished overnight.
I’ve got a weekend of cooking to do, and a friend coming into town. Me thinks I need to make this baby again.
For the coq au vin
- 4 oz pancetta
- 3-4 pound whole chicken, cut into eighths
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 10 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 bottle red wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 20 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt to taste
For the cheesy cauliflower grits
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
make the coq au vin
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat, cook the pancetta until lightly browned. Remove from heat and place onto a plate, leaving the browned bits and juices from cooking in the pan.
- Sprinkle the cut chicken with salt and place it into the dutch oven 3-4 pieces at a time. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 3 minutes each. It's OK if it doesn't cook through completely, as it will cook fully later. Place chicken on the reserved plate. Scrape any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, leaving them there.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan, then add in the carrots, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms brown and the onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Pour in the red wine and chicken stock, then add back in the pancetta and chicken. Add in the thyme springs and salt to taste (I used about ¾ teaspoon).
- Turn heat to high and allow mixture to come to a boil. Once it does, cover it and place it into the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour. Once done, carefully remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly before serving.
make the cauliflower grits
- While the coq au vin is in the oven, make the cauliflower grits. Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and bring it to a boil. Place the chopped cauliflower into the boiling stock and cook for 3-4 minutes. The cauliflower should be tender enough to pierce with a fork, but still have a good amount of resistance.
- Strain the cauliflower through a strainer, saving about ½ cup of the cooked chicken stock.
- Place the cauliflower into an electric mixer along with the cream cheese, grated parmesan, pepper and salt to taste. Pulse the cauliflower very briefly. You still want it to have some texture, just like grits. If the mixture is too thick, add in the reserved chicken stock 2 tablespoons at a time.
- To serve, place the cauliflower grits in bowls, then top with coq au vin!