12 January 2018

Turkey... façon coq au vin (5)

Here's a recipe. The Larousse Gastronomique food and cooking encyclopedia explains that the French term coq (rooster or cockerel) is synonymous with poulet (chicken) in culinary terminology. You can make Coq au vin with a young chicken, but the original idea behind the dish is to make it with an old rooster or roasting chicken that would be tough unless slowly cooked for a long time. I think turkey is the right kind of bird for this use. Coq au vin would be a good slow-cooker or crock pot dish. This is my adaptation of a fairly sketchy French recipe described as traditionnel that I found on the internet. There's also a good recipe in the American Joy of Cooking book.

Coq au vin
(Chicken — or turkey — braised in red wine)

1 large roasting chicken or small turkey, 6 to 8 lbs.
2 onions, sliced or diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 bottle red wine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 or 3 fl. oz. cognac
2 Tbsp. flour
1¾ cups (14 fl. oz.) chicken broth
2 or 3 Tbsp. tomato paste or sauce
½ lb. (or more) smoked pork lardons (or bacon)
½ lb. button mushrooms

The day before cooking the coq au vin, cut the chicken or turkey into serving-size pieces (disjoint it) and put the pieces in a large bowl with the onions, carrots, red wine, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper. (You could also use about 5 lbs. pre-cut chicken or turkey parts.) Let it marinate for 24 hours or longer.

Pour the marinade through a strainer, saving all the ingredients. Heat up some oil in a big pot and brown the lardons or bacon. Take the bacon out of the pot and brown the chicken or turkey pieces in the fat, in a couple of batches as necessary.

With all the pieces of poultry in the pot, pour on the cognac and (optionally) flame it or just let it boil away. Take the poultry pieces out of the pot and reserve.

Put in all the vegetables from the marinade into the pot and brown them lightly. Add the flour and stir the vegetables to completely moisten the flour. Add the herbs, the marinating liquid, and the the broth and bring it to the boil to thicken it. 

Put the chicken or turkey pieces back in the pot and set it on medium heat, or put it all into a baking dish and set in in a medium oven. Let it simmer for 2½ to 4 hours, lowering the heat as necessary.

Toward the end of the cooking time, slice the mushrooms and sauté them in a skillet. Add them to the pot with the chicken and vegetables and let them cook in the liquid for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cooking time will vary depending on the age, the size, and the type of bird you're cooking. Don't hesitate to stop the cooking, let the dish cool down, and reheat it before serving. Coq au vin can benefit from being reheated.

Here's what the Joy of Cooking says about the color of Coq au vin sauce:

"We are often asked why this recipe turns out a rich medium brown rather that the very dark brown sometimes served in restaurants. Abroad, in country places where chickens are locally butchered,the blood is often kept and added to the gravy at the last minute as a thickener... After this addition, it is not allowed to boil. Here in America, this effect is often imitated by adding caramel coloring."

I remember being served Coq au vin that had a sauce that was almost black in Paris restaurants. My home-cooked version has the more medium brown color — no blood or caramel coloring added.


  1. No recipe with wine, any shade, could be bad. Vieil ivrogne!

  2. Parles-tu de moi ou de toi ? Le vin de Cahors était parfait pour faire une dinde au vin.

    1. De moi, bien entendu. Toi, tu serais un jeune ivrogne, lol. Ça ne m'étonne pas du tout que le vin de Cahors ait été parfait. C'est un vin qui a beaucoup de corps.

      O/T. In my case the disappearing comments with my two more recent tablets are due to a lack of password recording in said tablets. I'm publishing these comments on the old tablet and there is no problem.

  3. I just got an email from Diogenes and it is now his turn to not be able to post comments. I wonder, given the variety of cases when commenting is difficult or impossible, if it is a question of increased security. Google and Disqus are asking user name and password every time I want to post.

    1. I should have said that the request for ID and password, occurs only on newer machines. No such thing on older operating systems.

  4. Given the variety of commenters on Ken's blog, isn't it strange that only he and I were able to post comments today?

    For what it is worth, I'm commenting on a MacBook Pro, Mountain Lion, that I refuse to upgrade. Is it the reason why my posting goes through without a glitch?

  5. I still have no idea what has been going on with blog comments. I found a batch of comments that had been successfully posted to this blog in the blog comments folder on my Blogger account. When I tried to delete them, I experimented by deleting just one to see if it would disappear from the blog post or not. I tried that two or three times and the result was what I had hoped it would be — the comment was gone from the spam folder but was still present on the blog. So then I deleted a batch of comments that had landed in spam, and lo and behold they were also entirely deleted from the blog. That was not the desired result!

    I've also been tinkering with my blog's comments settings. I hope that tinkering hasn't made things worse for those of you who want to leave a comment. Sorry if it has.

  6. OK, I'll try a comment to see if it survives the cyber gulch.
    Posting on a desktop machine, running IE. Old and slow. Google doesn't ask for anything when I do it this way, but Blogger wants me to sign in to my Gmail account in "select profile".
    Finger crossed . . .

    1. Emm, your comment ended up in my Comments: Spam folder. I found it there, marked it as "Not Spam" and it published. I hope that marking a comment from you as Not Spam will put your name back in good standing with my blog! Can you try posting another comment?

  7. OK. Here's another comment.
    LOL (ain't technology grand?)

  8. Emm, this comment also landed in my spam comments folder. I published it by selecting it and choosing the Not Spam button. I don't understand why your comments are ending up as "spam"...

    1. IMHO the comment landed in the spam folder because blogger [google} didn't recognized it as legtimate i.e. bad ID or password?

  9. That looks so good, especially for the cold wave here. Hope all is well with you two, and paws. Pastis is now blind, deaf, dementia and an enlarged heart

    1. Hi Mimi, sorry to hear about Pastis. Our border collie named Callie died last June at the age of 10. We found her paralyzed one afternoon and she didn't recover. We have a new dog now named Natasha or 'Tasha, a sheltie. Happy New Year to you.


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