This meal came about from wanting to make a special dinner for Mr. BRG. Yes, it is his birthday month but more than that, he shouldn’t have to avoid mushrooms just because I have to.
I LOVED mushrooms all my life but after a bad parasite infection contracted while living in Honduras, my gut was extremely “leaky.” I resorted to antibiotics in 2008 and from that point on, my body could not tolerate mushrooms without my throat closing all the way up. Not a fun experience and although mushrooms are delicious, not exactly worth it.
So here we go with the Coq au Vin. I’ve had a traditional version (low & slow simmered with red wine) but it was years and years ago at a swanky steakhouse. So I can’t say how similar this is or not but I can say (via the Mr.) that it’s amazzzinnngg.
I think a sweeter wine, which I cook with on rare occasion, goes really well in a creamy sauce. I picked Reisling because it’s mildly sweet while still having a crisp bite. You can use whatever you have on hand. Or for my super-strict Paleo friends, skip it altogether and sub in broth. Which would technically be Coq au Broth…
Most versions, even the “Blanc” ones, are made with flours or starches to thicken. I prefer an old French technique called a “liaison,” where a combo of cream and egg yolks are simmered to thicken a sauce.
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Coq au Vin Blanc
Cook time: about 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
4 oz. bacon or pancetta, lardons
4 bone-in, skin-in chicken drumsticks & 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 large sweet or white onion, chopped
3 cloves, garlic, minced
6 medium sage leaves, chopped
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
2 c. Reisling or other mildly sweet white wine
2 c. bone broth or stock of choice
1 c. grass-fed cream or canned full-fat coconut milk
2 egg yolks
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
For garnish: 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
Heat an extra-wide, heavy bottomed skillet (I used a 12″ cast iron) over medium heat. Brown the bacon gently to render the fat out. Remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon and leave the rendered fat in the pan.
Pat the chicken dry and season generously on all sides with sea salt and black pepper. Cook the chicken in the bacon grease until browned on all sides, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove the chicken to the bowl with the reserved bacon.
Turn the heat to medium high and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms shrink slightly and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onions and cook until they have softened, about another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, and thyme to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the Reisling to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom to pick up the browned bits. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce the wine by half and cook off some of the alcohol.
While the wine is simmering, whisk the broth, cream, and egg yolks in a bowl until well mixed. Add the liquid to the pan and whisk continually for 1-2 minutes to allow the egg yolks to warm without coddling. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and add the reserved bacon and chicken pieces. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon) and the chicken has finished cooking through the center.
Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste (use caution as the chicken was seasoned and bacon is salty!) and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.