A cooking and baking journal

A Modern Twist on Culinary School Staple

11/08/09: Coq Au Vin-guine

Meal Details: The famous French dish, Coq Au Vin, was made this week but it was done with a modern, Italian twist. This new recipe includes chicken breast, Italian red wine, mushrooms, onions, tomato paste, and pasta; hence the "guine" addition to the title.

Defining moments:
First time for me to do a Coq Au Vin-like recipe. (By the way, Coq Au Vin translate as "cock with wine.")

Recipe sources: The recipe, that can be found here, was created by Brian Boitano (yes, the ice skater) for his show on Food Network called What Will Brian Boitano Make? I chose this recipe because I am part of the Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge that is being hosted by the writer of the I Blame My Mother blog. (Learn more about this fun challenge by visiting this page.) I had a rather difficult time deciding to make this dish or not. It included a lot of ingredients and from what I got from the directions, it sounded like it had a lot of steps. I've never seen Brain's show yet so I didn't know at the time if his recipes are that easy to do. But I forgot that I am part of a cooking challenge, and so I took a deep breath and went with it. :)

What I learned: Yes, the recipe directions sounded intense but I learned that this recipe isn't all that hard. The first time around may be a little hectic at times so give yourself extra time; just don't worry, the second attempt will be a whole lot easier. I did not, however, like cubing the chicken breast before it was cooked. I just don't like working with squishy, drippy, raw meat. Ah, another challenge to overcome. :) To help with the cleanup (probably the worst part of dealing with chicken), I cut the chicken on two layers of wax paper that I taped to the counter using masking tape. I use this wax paper/masking tape method a lot when I am kneading dough. So when you are done cutting or kneading, just remove tape and throw away the paper. Fast cleanup!

Any modifications?
Yes, I made a lot of ingredient substitutes and amount changes. Here is the ingredient list for two times the recipe with my notes:

  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped (I used two tablespoons of leftover bacon grease we have. Brian really only wanted the bacon fat to saute the veggies in.)
  • 2 pound cipollini onions, peeled and sliced in 1/2 (I just used three medium sized Sweet Spanish onions that we grow on the farm.)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 pounds crimini mushrooms, sliced (I used 24 oz. of fresh button mushrooms)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste (I used 6 oz. of tomato paste.)
  • 2 bottles medium-bodied Italian red wine
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pound linguine (I used egg noodless)
  • Fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped (Didn't use this herb, I garnished it with the thyme instead.)
How it tasted? It was very rich and flavorful. The flavors of the wine, tomato paste, and mushrooms really stood out. And the egg noodles went very well with this special, meaty "sauce."

How about a 2nd time? Yes, without a doubt.

A couple hours before I tied on my apron, me and my siblings went for a walk around the lakes. Here are some shots.

Had to do the traditional "V" of course! ;)


  1. Nice job! This looks fabulous. Good to know that you can make substitutions for lesser available items. I'm putting your comment at the end of this week's post so more people will know to come and see. I'm not sure many go back and look at the old chef's listings. Thank you for participating! I look forward to seeing what you choose next :)

  2. Thank you very much Sarah for giving me a shout out again, it is very considerate of you!


  3. Wow this looks delicious!! Love your posting format, great job, can't wait to see what else your cooking!

  4. Yum! I'm glad Sarah posted your link this week, otherwise I would've missed this!