To me Coq Au Vin is the epitome of classic French cuisine – and now I find I can make a low-carb version and enjoy it just as much. It’s sorta like when you use the holy trinity of French cooking – if you use fresh, good quality ingredients, you have some leeway on making it work for your eating plan.
If you look at the true translation of Coq Au Vin, it means “rooster in red wine”, hence the use of Red Burgundy in a typical recipe for this dish. I made Coq Au Vin the correct way for years, but half the time my sauce would turn the color of purple and even the chicken would have a purple tinge to it. Mind you it still tasted terrific, but I found it hard to get past my chicken resembling Barney. So I changed it up a bit and started using white burgundy instead (chardonnay or Chablis) – it both tastes good and looks appetizing as well.
In keeping with a low-carb version I eliminated all use of flour and used egg yolks to thicken the sauce instead - which you will see under Method. If you don’t want to use egg yolks, make a slurry from cornstarch (but you will need to up the carbo count by 1 carb per serving).
And I think there ought to an aroma feature on food blogs, as when you make this dish your house smells amazing. Am going to remember this when I go to sell my house – will have this on a low simmer on my stove top – I think it would be better than cookies baking in the oven!
As to low carb and Coq Au Vin: 6.5 carbohydrates per serving (original recipe has 17 carbs). Remember the chicken itself is zero carbs, so you may have some leeway on a 2nd serving, which means increasing the carb count, but likely not having to double it – just sayin’.
Coq Au Vin (adapted from Ina Garten’s and Julia Child’s recipes)
1 (4 pound) chicken – cut into 8 portions
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, cut into slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/3 cup Cognac (I use Courvoisier)
1 cup white burgundy
1 cup chicken stock
3 Tbl butter
2 eggs (YOLKS ONLY)
6 Thyme sprigs
1.5 cup small whole onions
2 cups whole mushrooms, cut into quarters
Slice the yellow onion, chop the pancetta, and clean and quarter the mushrooms.
Using a Dutch oven, add olive oil and the pancetta and cook till lightly brown (about 8 to 10 minutes). When done remove pancetta with slotted spoon and set aside.
Cut the chicken into 8 portions, clean it using cold water, and pat it dry with paper towels (if you don’t dry it, it won’t brown).
Add a bit of butter and olive oil and brown the chicken in batches and set aside.
Add onion slices and salt to the pan and cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes till lightly browned – mid-way toss in the garlic, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn (burn equals bitter garlic).
Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom and sides with a wooden spoon. Let it bubble up, then add the chicken, chicken stock, Cognac, thyme, mushrooms, and add back in the pancetta. Let it come to a boil and then turn down to medium low heat, cover and let cook for 45 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, remove frozen onions and toss into a pan with a Tbl of butter – cook till lightly browned. Add to the chicken.
At the 45 minute mark, take the two egg yolks and beat them till creamy - add a tablespoon or two of the sauce to yolks (this is called tempering) and whisk briskly till blended. Add the mixture back to the sauce, and whisk until smooth. Heat the mixture just until it boils and turn down to lowest temperature and let it simmer until sauce thickens – this is about a minute or two. Whatever you do, don’t just throw in the egg yolks into the sauce or you will have “Chicken and Scrambled Eggs” in about 20 seconds.
Finishing cooking the Coq Au Vin for about another 10 minutes and it is ready to serve. I served mine with asparagus.
Serves 8. Carb count: 6.5 carbs per serving