Smoked Coq au Vin has to be one of my all time favorite winter comfort foods inspired by the classic French dish. This post will show you how to add smoked flavor to a traditional Coq au Vin.
Many years ago we found ourselves with no family for Christmas. It was just the four of us that year. No family. No traveling. Just us. Typically we go big and smoke a prime rib or brisket, or something equally grand. But this year we swayed from tradition. We still wanted something smoked (sheesh, we can’t sway THAT far from traditions!), and something warm and comforting, easy to make, yet still elegant and festive. We decided on Coq au Vin.
A traditional Coq au Vin is a classic French stew consisting of chicken slowly braised in red wine and brandy (and also bacon and vegetables).
It’s usually made by pan searing the chicken to get it started, then cooking everything in a large pot in the oven. We wanted to see if we could smoke the dish.
So we decided to adapt my favorite Coq au Vin recipe, from my shero herself, Ina Garten, and add our own smoked touches.
How to Smoke a Chicken for Smoked Coq au Vin
- We started by smoking a chicken.
- We season simply, with lots of olive oil, and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Cook the chicken to 165 degrees with a good thermometer like this one. This should take roughly two hours, but always cook to the proper temperature, not time. Then let the bird sit under foil for 30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and settle.
- While the chicken is resting you can start on the rest of your dish.
- Once the chicken has rested, quarter the bird into two breasts and then the two thigh/leg combos. Go ahead and throw the wings in there for fun and flavor.
Making Smoked Coq au Vin
- Start your stew by cooking up the bacon until crispy, then softening all of the vegetables.
- Add your liquids then the quartered chicken pieces. Cover, then put in the oven (or increase your smoker to 375) and cook for just about 30 minutes.
- While the pot is in the oven or smoker, sauté mushrooms in a separate saucepan.
- Transfer pot back to the stovetop and add the mushrooms, and bring back to a simmer.
- In a small bowl mash together one tablespoon butter and the flour. Mix into the stew. Continue simmering the dish on the stovetop for an additional 10 minutes for desired thickness.
- Just before serving, pull out the thyme leaves wrapped in the string and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with crusty bread.
Wine Pairing For Smoked Coq au Vin
This classic French dish is traditionally served with red Burgundy (Pinot Noir), or another light to medium bodied red with high acidity. It’s an earthy rustic dish, and goes fantastic with a rustic or earthy wine. So that’s usually our go-to. And we almost always use a decent quality Pinot Noir to cook the dish with. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that you would happily drink. The easiest bet is to use the same wine to drink as you are cooking with. Alternatively we’ve also enjoyed this dish with Châteauneuf-du-Pape and it’s outstanding!
*This post contains an affiliate link for the Thermapen Mk4 digital read thermometer. We only recommend products we use and love! And you can’t smoke meat to the perfect temperature without one! You can always be certain if you have good thermometer and this one is awesome.
Smoked Coq au Vin Recipe
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