Chicken Braised in Red Wine over Creamy Polenta

I adore classic French recipes such as Beef Bourguignon, Quiche Lorraine and Coq au Vin.  They are all fairly simple to prepare, yet rich in flavor.  Many different versions of these great classics abound, one of my favorite versions of Coq au Vin is this simple chicken brasied in red wine.  The chicken is full of flavor and fork tender.  I love to serve this dish over my favorite creamy polenta, but roasted baby red potatoes or wide egg noodles also compliment this recipe.  

Although this might appear a labor intensive recipe, it’s super easy.  Yes, you will need to remove the chicken and veggies from the pot to a platter several times; however, you’ll only need one large Dutch oven or stock pot, and one sauté pan. Once you make this recipe a time or two, it’ll become one of the easiest and delicious meals in your recipe repertoire.  A perfect fall or winter meal that is comforting, delicious and easy, everyday gourmet!

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil

6 slices bacon (preferably nitrate free)

2 carrots, small diced

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, small diced

2 tablespoons flour (skip if cooking wheat free)

6-8 skinless bone in chicken thighs

2 cups dry red wine (I like Chianti)

1 cup chicken broth

1 sprig fresh thyme (can substitute with ½ teaspoon dried thyme)

1 sprig oregano (can substitute with ½ teaspoon dried oregano)

1 bay leaf

Salt and Pepper

8 ounces Cremini Mushrooms sliced

¼ cup Italian Parsley finely chopped

Creamy Polenta (recipe below)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Heat a Dutch oven or large oven proof stock pot on medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan so the bacon won’t stick.  Add the bacon pieces and cook until the bacon has rendered most of the fat and is beginning to crisp.

Add the carrots and onions to the bacon and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5-8 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two.  Remove all the veggies to a plate or bowl, leaving the fat in the pot. 

Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown the chicken in the same pot until nicely browned.  Remove the chicken to a plate and remove all but a few tablespoons of fat from the pot. 

Add the veggies back to the pot and sprinkle with flour.  Stir to combine and let the flour cook for a minute or two.

Add the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.  Next, add the chicken broth, sprig of thyme and oregano, and the bay leaf.  Place the chicken thighs back into the pot and bring liquid to a boil.

Once the liquid begins to boil, put the Dutch oven or oven proof stock pot into the pre heated oven and let it cook for about 40 minutes. 

After 40 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and place stove top.  Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken to a plate and heat the liquid on medium high.  Simmer the liquid until it has reduced by half.  Taste for seasoning.  Put the chicken back into the pot and let warm while you are preparing the mushrooms.

Heat a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Sauté the cremini mushrooms until wilted and lightly golden brown.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fresh chopped parsley.

To serve, place the chicken thighs on a platter and ladle some of the sauce and veggies over the top.  Sprinkle with the mushroom and parsley mixture.  Serve with creamy polenta, roasted potatoes, or large egg noodles.

Creamy Polenta

1 Cup Whole Milk

1 Cup Chicken Broth

½ cup instant Polenta (I use the brand Moretti)

¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the milk and broth on medium and once it begins to boil, add the polenta.  Stir in one direction until the polenta has thickened a bit, two or three minutes.  When it’s done, take the polenta off the heat and add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.  Recipe can be doubled.

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