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Playing Coq Au Vin


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 1/4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, reserving fronds for garnish
  • 12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes or baby boiling potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 bottle dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock (eyeball it)
  • 4 to 5 sprigs (about 2 tablespoons) tarragon, leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • A loaf of crusty bread
  • 1/4 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


Serves: 4 servings


Preheat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Return skillet to the heat and add the EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan, to the bacon drippings.

Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Arrange 1 cup of flour on a plate, add the chicken chunks and toss to coat. Shaking off excess flour, add the coated chicken to the skillet in an even layer. Brown 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove to a plate and reserve. To the pot, add the onions, fennel, mushrooms and potatoes.

Saute for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour to the veggies, stir to distribute and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and reduce liquid for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of stock if you like a thicker consistency -- up to as much as 3 cups if you like it a little looser -- and bring it up to a bubble. Add browned chicken. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the chopped herbs and give it a stir to combine. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fennel fronds and bacon bits and serve with crusty bread alongside for mopping.