Coq à la Bière

Recipe: Coq à la Bière

Our Coq à la Bière, like the traditional Coq au Vin that inspired us, is a marathon of a recipe. It starts the night before (or two if you are really committed) with a beer and vegetable heavy marinade, which in turns becomes the cooking liquid and the ultimate sauce. In between there is lots of browning and straining and reserving before reaching the plate. But the end result is well worth it. Rich and comforting with layers of flavor, this is the kind of stick-to-your-ribs dish that cooler weather was invented for (or vice versa as it may be).

What You Need for Marinating

  • 3 12oz bottles Chocolate Maple Porter (or another dark flavorful beer)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 roasting chicken (about 6 lbs) broken down into 8 pieces with backbone discarded. Or 6-8 chicken legs.

What You Need for Cooking

  • 8 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups Chocolate Maple Porter (or another dark flavorful beer)
  • 1 lb crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

What You Do

  1. In a large pot bring all marinating ingredients except for the olive oil and chicken to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Stir in oil. Place chicken in a large baking dish or bowl, pour beer mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 2 days, turning chicken occasionally.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Strain marinade through a fine mesh strainer and reserve both the vegetables and the liquid in separate containers.
  3. In your largest, widest pot (chicken should be able to sit in a single layer, sides should be at least 3 inches high) sauté bacon until crisp and fat rendered. Using a slotted spoon transfer bacon to a small bowl.
  4. In two batches brown the chicken in the rendered bacon fat (about 8 minutes per side) and transfer to a large plate.
  5. Next brown the vegetables reserved from the marinade (about 10 minutes). Add flour and stir for two minutes. Add in reserved marinating liquid gradually while whisking throughout, bring to a boil and let cook for two minutes for sauce to thicken. Stir in thyme and bay leaves and additional 2 cups of beer.
  6. Return chicken to pot, skin side up, in a single layer. Return to a simmer over med-low heat and cover. Cook chicken for 30 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 15 minutes. Towards the end of cooking melt butter and brown mushrooms in a small skillet, reserve. Using tongs transfer chicken to serving dishes.
  7. Using a fine mesh strainer over a pot strain the sauce (press on solids to get as much liquid as possible). Discard solids and bring sauce to a simmer. Add mushrooms and bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Enjoy.