It’s a classic French braise that I learned from my mentor, Daniel Boulud, and that we’ve always had on the menu at Café Boulud in Manhattan, where I was the chef for seven wonderful years before returning to the cities. binoculars to open Spoon. and stable. My version of the dish suitable for cooking at home is a great way to learn some important principles of braising: the importance of searing the chicken well, reducing two (!) bottles of red wine to intensify the flavor of the liquid, and turning the meat several times during cooking to ensure even cooking. My favorite accompaniment to a rich, earthy coq au vin is crispy buttery spaetzle, which is surprisingly easy to make and requires no special equipment (but if you have one of those spaetzle makers, feel free to use it ).
Technical tip: You may notice that this braise is cooked uncovered. Unless I’m cooking large chunks of meat, I actually prefer to braise with the pan uncovered, as this allows the moisture to evaporate and intensifies the braising liquid.
For the chicken broth:
In a pot, combine all the ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover the pan, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1h30.
Remove from the heat and remove the chicken from the pan. Put aside. Strain the liquid into another saucepan and discard the solids.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the bones using your hands and reserve for another use. Some sections, like the brisket, benefit from dicing with a knife into equal 1-inch pieces. Discard the skin and bones. Broth can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
For the spätzle:
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt and 1 teaspoon salt until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, add half the flour and stir until hydrated. Add the rest of the flour and stir until the remaining flour is hydrated, forming a thick paste. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, find a pot that a colander with large holes can sit on. In this saucepan, simmer 4 liters of water and season with 2 tablespoons of salt. Place the colander over the pan and use a rubber spatula to push one-third of the spaetzle batter into the bottom of the colander. Cook the spaetzle until they begin to float, then remove them with a strainer and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Let the spaetzle cool to room temperature, then drizzle lightly with olive oil, toss gently and set aside.
When ready to serve, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and place half of the spaetzle in the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the spaetzle, undisturbed, until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the lid and add 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. Stir the spaetzle until the butter is melted and the spaetzle has puffed up slightly. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chives.
For the coq au vin:
In a medium saucepan, bring wine to a boil and reduce to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature (you can do this ahead of time and refrigerate the wine until ready to use). Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and add the celery, garlic, mushrooms, onions, bacon and herb packet. Pour the reduced wine over it, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Take the chicken out of the fridge. Reserving the red wine reduction, use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the wine ingredients. Spread the ingredients on a plate covered with absorbent paper and pat dry.
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crispy, about 4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Add the olive oil to the melted bacon fat. Working in batches, sear the chicken pieces on all sides until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a rack placed inside a baking sheet.
When all the chicken has been seared, add the celery, garlic, mushrooms and onions to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add reserved red wine reduction, bacon, chicken, herb packet and chicken broth. Bring to the boil then cover with a round of parchment paper and transfer to the oven.
Cook, turning the chicken pieces over and basting them with sauce three or four times, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 F, 1 to 1½ hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and season the braising liquid to taste with salt and pepper. If the liquid seems too runny, remove the chicken and vegetables and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the liquid until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Return the ingredients to the pot. Garnish the coq au vin with parsley and serve with the spaetzle.