Sunday, May 3, 2015

Coq Au Vin, Paleo Style

That day was one of those days that I eased into, and after reading way too long it was well into the morning. Since I had done very little of my daily routine anyway, I decided to plan dinner and run to the store specifically for extra chicken breasts. ( $1.49 a pound is fantastic here and the sale ended the next day.) I had mushrooms, a bottle of opened burgandy and enough time so I decided Coq Au Vin would be a good way to use what I had on hand. I only needed the chicken and a head of cauliflower for some fakey potatoes and all would be good.

After shopping I went down to the parents house to visit with them for a while.  Suddenly the afternoon was gone and I had not begun cooking. I am so glad TheHub worked late and then had a few errands, because this really does need a little time to cook.

I used my very standard Coq Au Vin recipe and changed it very little so it would be paleo.

                                                                Coq Au Vin

2 slices bacon, cooked crisp, reserve pan drippings (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts, bone in skin removed (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped onions or 1 lb pearl onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 whole carrots, peeled with tops removed
2 cups mushrooms, whole (or if they're like mine and right at the verge of dying, chunked)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried parsley)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme (or a nice hunk of fresh thyme)
1 cup burgundy
1 cup chicken stock (I had none so I used veggie stock)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder*

For the sake of the recipe I am going to write this using the bacon (I didn't because I forgot about it)

In a large pan cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove from the pan leaving all the drippings.  Add the olive oil to the pan and heat until hot.  Quickly sear the chicken on both sides until very light brown on the skin side.  Remove form the pan and add the onions, cook until wilted. Without removing the onions, toss the garlic in the pan and give it a couple of quick stirs before adding the carrots and mushrooms.  Add the burgundy and broth, then the seasonings and swirl it around to combine the vegetables and liquids. Place the chicken pieces on top of everything, put a lid on the pan and cook it on a mid low heat for about 1 hour.  Check occasionally and add more broth or wine as needed.  When the chicken is well done, remove it and the vegetables from the pan.  Make a slurry of 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons water.  Pour about 1/2 of the slurry in the broth left in the pan and cook until it thickens.  If it does not thicken to your liking in about 1 1/2 minutes, add a little more of the arrowroot slurry and continue to cook.  Serve the chicken with the vegetables to the side.   (If you used the bacon, crumble it and sprinkle it over the vegetables) Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken  (the vegetables also if you like) and also over rice, mashed potatoes, or fake mashed potatoes.

This makes a substantial and quite tasty dinner.  It is so filling and flavorful, for a few minutes you forget you are doing paleo.  It is so similar in taste and texture to my non-paleo method that no one noticed any difference other than my usual rice as a side was missing and in it's place was fake potatoes.  I consider this extreme success.  Since I am doing paleo for the long haul (with the exception of a few non-paleo days) this will be in our rotation for sure.  I only wish I had added a few brussels sprouts to the pan when simmering!

If you feel like getting your French or even getting your freak on, this is a delicious way to do it.  So throw on that beret or French maid outfit and have a little French fun mid-week!

* If you are not doing paleo I beg you to use cornstarch rather than arrowroot.  While arrowroot is paleo acceptable, it has a funny consistency that is almost slimy.  Cornstarch produces a smoother traditional gravy.


  1. While I love cauliflower, I don't think it tastes like mashed potatoes when it's mashed as many claim. It just looks the same. Do you think it tastes essentially the same?

    1. No I don't think it tastes or feels the same. No matter how you slice it, it is still cauliflower. But I will continue to make cauliflower "rice" or mashed "potatoes" or turkey "dressing" or whatever faux method I have to do to stay on this path. (The path with the slippery slope that I fell off twice this week!)

  2. Love discovering new recipes when I visit your blog. This dish looks delicious. I'm always looking for new way to cook chicken.

    1. Thanks, Brandi. I try to use a couple of different ways every month, but my go-to method is to just throw it on the grill and call it passable!

  3. I've always done coq au vin via marinating it overnight in the wine/stock. Would that still be considered paleo preparing it that way?

    1. Yes and if I had thought about it the night before I would have marinated it also. The paleo part is really the no grains, dairy, beans,sugar, (the tasty stuff)

  4. So happy to find a Paleo cook. I will be following you abd also trying this recipe.

  5. So happy to find a Paleo cook. I will be following you abd also trying this recipe.

    1. Glad to have you along, Georgene. I am trying to maintain a mostly Paleo diet, but I am not militant about it. If circumstances don't allow it, I am not above lapsing! Plus at least once a month I have to have an anything goes kind of day, because Paleo desserts just suck!

  6. another good recipe to try. I may give the mashed cauliflower a try.

  7. I like them, just don't expect it to taste just like mashed potatoes!