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 3/4 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 1/2 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!