Friday, January 27, 2012

Coq Au Riesling

Coq Au Riesling; so classically French, and so amazingly delicious, I think of this recipe as the Bourguignon of poultry dishes.  Traditionally, this is made with dark cuts but, giving it a lighter twist by using white meat while cooking it on the bone does not compromise flavor in the slightest.

This is a dish not to be intimidated by, while the end result is elegant, this is one of the simpler recipes to prepare when getting your feet wet in the world of French cuisine.  Being that the cooking time, in total, is only about 30 minutes, this recipe also makes for a quick weeknight dinner.  Or if you prefer coming home to a meal already prepared, this is a great slow cooker recipe, cook on low for six hours and you will come home to a melt in your mouth, delicious dinner ready and waiting.

There are several versions of this dish, in fact most Chef's have a twist of their own.  Some prefer to use butter while others use the oil from bacon, some like to use heavy cream as a thickening option while others prefer the tang of sour cream.  My variation uses very little oil, just enough to brown the chicken and saute the vegetables, then a little butter and lite sour cream to thicken which still gives a rich, silky sauce.  Riesling is the highlight in this recipe, and I feel finishing the sauce with too much cream, eliminates the crisp, refreshing integrity of the wine.


4 bone-in chicken breasts, free range, organic is best
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry Riesling
2 tbsp cognac
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp lite sour cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
3 sprigs of tarragon plus, 1 tbsp chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered

In a heavy bottom pot; heat one tablespoon of oil, season the chicken with salt and pepper then brown, remove to a plate and set aside.  Next, saute the mushrooms until tender and brown, then remove and set aside as well.

Start the sauce by sauteing the shallots and garlic on low until tender, you are not looking to brown just sweat them until translucent.  When tender, add the cognac to deglaze, making sure to scrape all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the tarragon springs, wine and stock, bring to a strong simmer allowing the alcohol to burn off, add the chicken back to the pan, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Once cooked through, set the chicken aside to allow to rest.  Increase the heat, and allow the sauce to reduce by half, then finish by stirring in the butter, sour cream, chopped tarragon and parsley.  Cut the chicken off the bone, slice and put back into the sauce, with the mushrooms tossing to make sure everything is evenly coated. 


  1. What a lovely recipe! This happens to be a favorite dish of mine and I love to see how others make it. This is my first visit to your site, so I took sometime to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  2. I will definitely make this--I almost always have chicken and mushrooms around the house and need new things to do with them. This is an elegant dish, indeed, but doable for weeknight dinner!

  3. Wow, my mouth is watering! I love the idea of using Riesling instead of red wine. Thanks for sharing- yummy!

  4. I just love French dishes of this kind (or basically anything cooked in wine)! These are also quite notorious for being difficult to present nicely, but your's looks so pretty :)