This chicken recipe is based on the well-known French dish, Coq au Vin, and while this version is an easy alternative that uses a number of shortcuts in preparation, it still has plenty of hearty, red wine flavor.
Red Wine Braised Chicken Thighs
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, (about 1-1/2 lbs)
- 1/3 cup flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 strips thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered
- 8 ounces white or red pearl onions, peeled (you can substitute frozen)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them in half crosswise.
- Spread the flour on a plate, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and combine thoroughly. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess and set aside.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and return to the stove. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken in a single layer and cook until lightly browned on the outside, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the chopped onion. Sauté over medium heat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking just until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
- Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have accumulated on the bottom. Add the tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir until blended then add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth.
- Return the chicken to the pan, turning each piece several times to coat with the liquid, then scatter the mushrooms, pearl onions, and chopped bacon on top. Season lightly with salt and pepper and give the mixture a stir to submerge the mushrooms, onions, and bacon in liquid too.
- Cover the pan and simmer gently over medium-low heat until the pearl onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces once or twice during cooking and feel free to add more chicken broth if the sauce seems too thick.
- Sprinkle the finished dish with parsley and serve family-style alongside simple accompaniments like mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.
How To Peel Pearl Onions:
- To peel pearl onions easily, immerse them in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, then plunge them into ice water for an additional 2 minutes.
- Drain and cut off the root end of the onion and squeeze gently from the opposite end. The onion should slip out of its skin fairly easily.