French

Coq Au Vin Meets Sheet Pan in This Easy, Warm Weather Take

May  7, 2018

Coq au vin always feels to me like a dish for sharing. During the 80s and 90s, it was a dinner party staple, often served alongside a potato dish with sufficient cream and butter to match the richness of the red wine chicken dish, like a dauphinoise, with another glass of red wine to drink for good measure. It almost became too popular for its own good.

When I lived in Northern France in the 90's, I realized there's more variety to the dish than I thought. I noted regional versions using white wines, like a coq au riesling in Alsace; once I even spotted coq au Champagne. It struck me that a lighter, more Spring-like version is certainly doable.

Meet coq au vin's type B sister. Photo by Julia Gartland

Using white wine instead of red results in a much perkier dish. The white wine compliments the saltiness of the bacon and the buttery mushrooms and white beans. Sweet and succulent roasted shallots play well with the chicken thighs. A regular coq au vin might intensely please the palate, but this one is more of a taste bud tickler—the happy-go-lucky, "let's enjoy life" younger sister to the original.

This dish has been enjoyed by my family for years and years. Over time, we've added or subtracted ingredients. The sheet pan version was a result of my needing to put dinner on the table in a speedy, not-too-expensive fashion on weeknights. But it's elegant enough to wow the dinner party circuit, too. Serve it with a salad tossed with an apple cider vinegar–based dressing for a perfect taste combination. As the temperatures get warmer and the days longer, this dish will be a fantastic option for family meals and gatherings with friends.

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