03 November 2009

Coq Au Vin - Cooked Under Pressure

Coq Au Vin is something I usually end up making for dinner over the weekend. The guys in my household are absolutely infatuated with chicken in red wine with onions, mushrooms and bacon. However, with the recent addition of my pressure cooker, I tried making this dish on a work day, and it was finished within 30 mins. Woot !

When I cook this dish in my dutch oven, I usually end up using a whole bottle of red wine. With the pressure cooker, because all the juices are trapped in, you actually need to reduce the amount of liquid, otherwise you will end up with a very watery sauce. Also with using the pressure cooker, I found it easier to just skip the braised onions part that Julia Child's recipe calls for. After all, I am using the pressure cooker to help me save time. :)

Coq Au Vin - Cooked Under Pressure
Based on Julia Child's Book ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Feeds 4 to 6 people

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 250g of Speck (cut into 1.5cm width slices) - can substitute with bacon
  • 3 pieces of maryland chicken (Drumstick and thigh separated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1 onion (halved then cut into quarters)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaf


  1. In the pressure cooker, sauté the speck\bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned.
  2. Dry and season the chicken thoroughly with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the pressure cooker, which would now have the bacon fat rendered out already.
  3. Pour in the cognac. Either ignite the cognac with a lighted match and shake the cooker back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside, or just let the cognac cook off.
  4. Add in the onions.
  5. Pour the red wine into the cooker. Add in the beef stock. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Lock on the pressure cooker lid and bring the cooker to pressure on high setting (15 psi), then continue to cook for 15 mins.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the mushrooms in a separate pan (recipe follows).
  7. Sauteed Mushrooms:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • handful of Button Mushrooms (halved or quartered if large)
    • 50g butter
    • 1 stalk green onion (finely sliced.. this is optional)
    • salt & pepper

  8. After 15 mins, turn the heat off and release the pressure from the cooker using the automatic release method. Remove the lid from the pressure cooker and taste the sauce and correct the seasoning if required.
  9. Keep the cooker over a low heat and prepare the finish for the dish (recipe follows)

    Finish (buerre manie):

    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 2 tablespoons softened butter
    • Sprigs of fresh parsley (optional)

  10. Remove the chicken and arrange it in a casserole dish. Discard the bay leaves. The chicken should be tender enough to be able to fall off the bone easily.
  11. Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste. Mix the paste into the sauce in the pressure cooker with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
  12. Place the sauteed mushrooms around the chicken and ladle the sauce and onions over the chicken and the mushrooms.
  13. If you like, decorate with spring for parsley. (this part is optional).

coq au vin - pressure cooked

Serve with some mash potatoes, rice or some bread to soak up the yummy sauce. :)

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