This spring coq au vin swaps out traditional winter ingredients for bright, spring veggies for a warm weather take on a classic chicken dish! Easy, healthy and so delicious!
The spring meals continue!
I just cannot get enough of all the bright, beautiful spring vegetables littering the grocery store produce section as of late. Each time I go I have to practice the ultimate restraint, otherwise I might leave with more vegetables than I can cook before they wilt and wither away. Right now the vegetable crisper in my fridge has asparagus, shelled English peas, whole artichokes, leeks, crisp green beans and the prettiest heirloom carrots I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of them yet, but we’re well on our way to utilizing all of them as a handful were put to good use in today’s spring-inspired coq au vin – a dish I like to call spring chicken.
While not classically coq au vin, this follows a similar process and ingredients that are reflective of this new season we’re in. Instead of using a heavy red as the braising liquid, I swapped it out for a light, dry rosé, a wine that to me, is basically spring and summer in a bottle. Instead of starting with a base of onion and garlic, I used their sweeter, milder cousin, the leek, a vegetable I can’t get enough of this time of year. Also, instead of hearty mushrooms, I threw in fresh green beans (or haricot verts), English peas and quartered artichokes as the veggie component.
I had originally planned on using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, as most coq au vin recipes call for, but I really wanted this to not only be a quick-cooking dish, but a relatively healthy one as well. It was the first time I’ve used a boneless, skinless thigh in a braising situation, and I really thought I’d miss that crispy skin, but I was pleasantly surprised that even without the skin, the chicken became irresistibly crispy and golden brown after a quick sear in a hot a pan – with butter of course.
The key is to liberally season the flesh, cook it in a screaming hot pan with butter, and to leave it alone once it hits the fat. Like a lot of meats and seafood, the flesh of the chicken will release once it’s perfectly golden brown, so if you try to flip it and it won’t budge, it means it’s not quite there yet.
Once the chicken has browned on both sides, it comes out, the leeks go in, are sautéed until soft, and then the garlic and cut green beans are tossed in as well. Once the green beans start to perk up, the wine is added in, reduced and the chicken goes back in along with some stock, the quartered artichokes and the peas. Everything simmers for another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is done cooking, and it’s ready to serve.
This would be lovely served over mashed potatoes, but seeing as we’re trying to keep things ultra light, I’d love to see this nestled on top of some whipped cauliflower. Also, if you want the brasing liquid to be a little bit thicker, before you add the chicken stock in, mix a little bit it with a tablespoon of flour, then whisk it in, along with the rest of the stock, to the wine and vegetables.
Spring at its finest.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ lbs.)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 leek, cleaned and sliced (about 1 cup)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lb. fresh grean beans, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dry rose wine
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts (about 3 whole hearts)
- ¾ cup shelled English peas
- Liberally season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add butter. Once butter has melted and skillet it very hot, add chicken. Cook chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once you put the chicken down, do not move it until it easily releases from the pan. Typically once it's perfectly golden brown, it will release from the skillet. Once the chicken is brown, remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and salt to the pan. Saute until leeks have slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and green beans, toss with leeks. Once beans turn bright green, add the rose wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the chicken stock, artichoke heart and peas. Stir. Nestle the chicken back in the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Let simmer another 5 mintues or so until chicken is done cooking and peas are cooked.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.