Food Matters Project #8: Vegetable Coq au Vin

Another Food Matters Project post, but this recipe was chosen by us- and I was so excited! We chose this recipe since we liked how Mark Bittman took a different take on it. He suggested swapping out some of the chicken for vegetables, such as eggplant and green beans. And just like every recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook, it is delicious!  Check out everyone dishes here.

For a supper club last winter we had made coq au vin (it’s French for “rooster with wine”). It’s a rustic French recipe which calls for braising chicken with wine, mushrooms and some pork fat. The recipe which we tried was from Barefoot Contessa, and everyone cleaned their plates!

So when I was browsing The Food Matters Cookbook, I couldn’t help and notice that Mark Bittman suggested a healthier version of this dish, with the addition of more vegetables. I didn’t need to look any further, and reserved this recipe for us.

Vegetable Coq au Vin
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 466)

When making this dish, I added even more eggplant and green beans than the recipe called for, while decreasing the amount of chicken. The eggplant melts into the sauce, so serve this dish with a baguette! I also didn’t use as much salt or pepper, but feel free to adjust it to your taste buds. Another addition that I’d make in the future, is to add carrots- about 3-4 chopped in pieces- and add it in at the same time as the other vegetables. By making this one day in advance, the flavors mature and sink in. You can also serve it over noodles or potatoes.

2 medium eggplants
3 tbsp salt
4-6 strips of bacon, chopped
5 chicken drumsticks, bone-in & with skin
3 tbsp olive oil
4 large shallots, chopped
3/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock (preferable homemade)
2 cups fruity red wine (I used pinot noir)
3 bay leaves
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp pepper

Cut the eggplant into disks, and sprinkle each disk, on each side, with salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for 20 minutes on a cutting board covered with paper towels. Then cut the eggplant disks into smaller pieces (into quarters or eighths).

In a Dutch oven or large pot, add in the bacon and cook it over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the bacon gives up its fat and becomes crisp. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove the bacon from the pot, and set it aside. With the pot over the burners, add the chicken. Allow it to cook, turning and rotating as necessary. Once all sides are browned, then remove the chicken from the pan.

Add in some olive oil, shallots, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they being to turn brown (about 15 minutes). After about 5 minutes, stir in the garlic.

Then add the stock, wine, bay leaves, green beans and herbs. At this time, return the chicken and bacon into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the temperature and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through at this point, if not, cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Next, remove the chicken from the pan and add butter to the liquid. Allow it to cook until it is reduced by half, and becomes saucy and thick. Sprinkle in pepper, or any additional salt.

If you’re making this dish ahead, refrigerate it at this point. If you’ll be eating it soon (or when you’re reheating), then add the chicken back into the pot and allow to warm up for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. When serving, garnish the dish with parsley.

32 responses to “Food Matters Project #8: Vegetable Coq au Vin

  1. Ina Garten is lovely and her recipes are all great… they really never fail. But, I have to admit that her recipes are just too rich for me. It seems like there’s so much more butter and fat that is actually not necessary… and this is why Mark Bittman is so great. He really teaches us that delicious doesn’t have to be bad. Thanks for picking this recipe! I loved it!

    • I definitely agree. This recipe was perfect- filling, yet not too rich. I guess I never thought about adding more vegetables to this dish. Although it’s warm here in DC, this would be perfect come next fall. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. This was a fantastic choice! I’d never made Coq au Vin before, and I think I’ll be better off in the long run with Mr. Bittman’s lighter, veggie-centric version as my first “au Vin” experience haha.

    • Once again, I’m glad that you enjoyed this recipe- it’s a classic, but once you’ve had it once, it’ll be a good one to hold on to (for those special days or a comforting Sunday meal).

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  7. Hi Sam and Evi,
    You made this recipe come to life for me. I was having a hard time imagining how good it could taste. I love that you added more vegetables —they can really make a dish. Thanks for hosting!

  8. I royally screwed up this recipe but I still think it was a great choice!

  9. Thanks for the great choice! This is definately going to make a great left over dish tonight.

  10. Nice pick, guys! I think it’s safe to say this one was a hit across the board.

  11. This looks delicious! I love that you added so many vegetables; this is definitely my kind of meal.

  12. Thank you for the great choice. I ended up changing quite a lot, but the recipe inspired me to make something different with all the winter vegetables I still get in my csa.

    • I know what you mean, the recipe do turn out with a lot of food sometimes. I should start inviting people for a big meal, this way I won’t have to be using up every nook and cranny of the fridge. But if something is good, it definitely goes fast! =)

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