Sunday 24 December 2023

Coq au vin

Coq au vin

While living and teaching in Dubai, I came across an amazing lady from France who shared my passion for food and cooking. She gave me a fantastic tip: glaze the traditional coq au vin with dark chocolate. I was a bit apprehensive and did hesitate, but I tried it. This step takes it to perfection! I do recommend it.

1 ½ kgs, 3 lbs or 8-12 pieces of chicken, bone-in

3 cups red wine, Bordeaux or pinot noir

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 sticks of celery, scraped and diced

1 large onion, diced

4 peeled cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tbsp whole black peppercorns

3 tbsp salted butter

1 tbsp  olive oil

Salt and pepper to season

6 rashers of bacon

20 pearl onions, peeled

454 g | 1 lb very small mushrooms or big ones cut into square chunks

Dry herbs-boquet garni

1 -2 tbsp cognac

25 g |1.5 oz dark chocolate

1 tablespoonful of finely chopped fresh parsley

Marinate the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in the wine. Soak it overnight, turn it once, and ensure all the pieces are well soaked.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the marinade. Once it is all at room temperature, start the cooking.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. On medium-high, sauté the bacon until golden brown and until all the fat has melted. Remove the bacon and keep it aside. Drain this on kitchen paper to remove the excess fat. Fry the chicken, skin side down. Cooking it in batches will ensure a golden, crispy skin. Cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and season it well with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Lightly toss all the vegetables in flour. Continue to fry them in batches, making sure each one is seasoned after. Once the vegetables have browned, add all of the wine marinade to the pan, stirring it with a whisk to remove any lumps. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and the bouquet garni. Return the chicken and bacon. bringing it all to a boil, covering, lowering the heat to simmer, and cooking for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, add the cognac, place the dark chocolate, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and cover. Cook for a further 20 minutes on a very low flame. Turn the heat off. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with garlic bread and a salad.


Bouquet garni is a mix of herbs. Bay thyme and oregano would be the choices for this dish.

Use the wine you are going to drink as an accompaniment. Bordeaux and Pinot Noir are recommended.

Dark chocolate like Lindt is recommended. The glaze and flavour are delectable.

Photo Credit: Sheriar Hirjikaka

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Vegetarian Parsi, inspired by tradition is an award winning cookbook. It was published by Spenta Multimedia India and is available on Amazon India and through email order at

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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