The Daring Cooks Braise Stuff!

The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
After a 4 hour wine bath, this chicken was a beautiful purple!
There is no better way to lift one’s sour mood than a beautiful 70 degree day! I’ve spent the last few days with as many windows open as I can (without having to fear Ladybug climbing out of them), shaking the winter dust out of the house, and rotating my wardrobe around. Ainsley spent the last few days growing like crazy, and so we’ve celebrated her new wardrobe with some painted toe nails and trips to the park. Joel is no longer working nights, so we actually get to see him every day (yay!) and I also have time to clean the house a bit. And so even though I am still really irritated and stressed out about having to move in less than 6 weeks and having no where to go, I have been able to take a big sigh, and I feel better.  
I was pleased to see that this month’s challenge was back to a basic technique. Braising is a fantastic way to make meats delicious and juicy. And it is also a really healthy way to add flavor to your meat. I thought this might be a perfect time for us to finally try making Coq au Vin. 
I have no idea why it has taken me this long to try Coq au Vin! We love love loved it!! Not only is it relatively simple to make, but it tasted truly delicious! I also really liked that the every part of the marinade was used (I hate throwing things down the drain). We will definitely be making this again, and hope you will give it a shot, too! 
Coq au Vin (Cooking Light, January 2008)

2 cups red wine
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 whole chicken, cut into parts and skinned (or 2 breasts, 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks)
1/2 cup flour
3 bacon slices, chopped
1/2 cup dried plums, pitted and quartered
2 bay leaves
chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl combine the red wine, onion, carrot, and seasonings.
Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to 24.
Remove the chicken from the marinade (keep the marinade) and pat the chicken dry.
Dredge both sides of all the chicken pieces in flour and set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high until crisp.
Remove the bacon and set aside.
Add half of the chicken to the bacon drippings in the pan, cook for 4 minutes, or until brown on all sides.
Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat with remaining chicken.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion and carrots from the marinade (again, keep the marinade) and add to the pan.
Sautee for 5 minutes or until softened.
Stir in the marinade and scrap up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the chicken, bacon, dried plums, and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a simmer
Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Discard the bay leaves.
Garnish with parsley, serve over mashed potatoes, and Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 353
Fat: 11.2g
Protein: 34.2g
Carbs: 28.7g
Fiber: 3.7g
Cholesterol: 106mg
Sodium: 62 mg

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  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I love Coq au Vin! Yours looks really delicious. I may have to hope for one more week of temperatures in the 60's. These just seem like cool weather recipes!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    The coq au vin looks awesome! I love the addition on the dried plums. Never seen a coq au vin recipe that called for that.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    I still haven't made a Coq au vin, but after seeing yours, now I want to!}:P

  • Reply
    shelley c.
    March 15, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Coq au Vin sounds like a great choice for braising during the warmer weather – nice and light but deliciously filling and flavorful!! I love all the flavors in there, too. YUM.

  • Reply
    Cher Rockwell
    March 15, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    You know, I have never made coq au vin & I have no idea why. This looks like it came out wonderfully – I don't know how meat marinated in wine could ever go wrong 🙂
    I hope your moving situation works out. Fingers crossed.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I've never made Coq au Vin before but have always wanted to! Seems like yours turned out delicious!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I have always wanted to try Coq Au vin as well, so I better take your advice, because yours looks fantastic! Hope you find a new home soon, certainly to be better than ever 🙂

  • Reply
    Monkeyshines in the Kitchen
    March 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Congrats on your first Coq au vin – I am sure it won't be your last.. Yum!! It looks absolutely delicious! Lovely job with it – ours never comes out looking so pretty as yours did.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I love coq au vin too. It's a great choice for this challenge.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Oh my goodness, that looks beautiful. I love coq au vin! And mash too? Heaven on a plate.

  • Reply
    Johanna Blair
    March 16, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    This looks delicious, and so healthy! I will have to try this soon.

  • Reply
    [email protected] in disguise
    March 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    I love spring, I have been leaving windows open on sunny days too…
    Great job on this challenge, I love challenges that go back to basics too

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    So glad you enjoyed this challenge and it gave you a reason to make coq au vin – a wonderful braise recipe! Great job!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    I remember I coq au vin was the first 'french' savory dish I ever tried out of Larousse Gastronimique, and I was so excited. It turned out dry (I let it go too long), so I had to serve dry coq au vin to my BF's family. It was so humiliating lol Yours, on the other hand, looks perfect! I hope to taste your food one day. That said – so much fun with you and Shelley the other day 🙂

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