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Succulent Chicken in White Wine

Discover Coq au Vin Blanc – a lighter alternative to traditional Coq au Vin, made with white wine and a dash of creme fraiche,  but no less delicious!

A close-up view of a Coq Au Vin Blanc dish showcasing a tender chicken thigh with crispy skin bathed in a creamy white wine sauce chunks of vegetables, plump mushrooms, and crispy lardons complete the picture
In French cuisine, few dishes evoke the same level of admiration and delight as Coq au Vin. This quintessential classic, traditionally prepared with red wine, lardons, mushrooms and sometimes garlic has long been celebrated for its rich flavours and comforting aromas.  A red Burgundy wine is traditionally used, although various regions of France produce adaptations using local wines, including coq au vin jaune, coq au riesling, coq au pourpre or coq au violet, and coq au Champagne.A lover of white wine myself, I present to you, the lesser-known variation that offers a delightful twist – Coq au Vin Blanc. Technically I adore Coq Au Riesling, and thats what I used here, but any fresh and light white will work. Just a heads up, this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Don’t worry, these are products I personally love and recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Happy cooking and thanks for supporting Culinary Cartel!

Discovering Chicken in White Wine

Coq au Vin Blanc shares its roots with the more familiar Coq au Vin Rouge. Both dishes originated as rustic peasant fare, using humble ingredients to create hearty and flavoursome meals. Unlike its red counterpart, which relies on robust red wine for its signature flavour, this chicken in white showcases the delicate nuances of white wine. The dish typically features tender chicken pieces, aromatic vegetables, bacon or pancetta for savoury depth, and a creamy sauce for a luxurious finish.

What sets this chicken in white apart is its distinct flavour profile, characterised by the bright, fruity notes of white wine, imparting a subtle acidity and sweetness to the dish.

Perfect for Advance Prep and Entertaining

The beauty of this succulent chicken in white wine is that you can prepare the sauce in advance and rest it in the fridge. Then assemble everything when you’re ready to serve dinner in less than an hour.

Advanced meal prep offers invaluable benefits when entertaining, transforming the experience into a seamless and enjoyable affair for hosts and guests. By partly preparing this dish ahead of time, you can alleviate stress and ensure your have ample time to focus on hosting duties and engaging with your guests.

A steaming Coq Au Vin Blanc in a roasting tray on a white marble counter with a knife in the background

Balancing the Sauce

The principle behind “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” is a foundational concept in cooking that emphasises the essential elements required to create well-balanced and flavourful dishes. Developed by chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, this framework underscores the importance of mastering these fundamental components to elevate the quality of your cooking.

  • Salt: Salt is a fundamental seasoning that enhances the natural flavours of ingredients and helps to balance sweetness, bitterness, and acidity. It adds taste and is crucial in drawing out moisture from ingredients, intensifying flavours, and improving texture. Properly seasoning dishes with salt is essential to achieving depth and complexity in taste.
  • Fat: Fat contributes richness, texture, and mouthfeel to dishes, imparting a luxurious quality and depth of flavour. Whether from sources like olive oil, butter, or animal fats, incorporating the right amount of fat is vital for achieving balance and enhancing the overall sensory experience of a dish. Fat also serves as a medium for cooking and transferring flavours, helping ingredients cook evenly and develop desirable caramelisation and browning.
  • Acid: Acidic ingredients like citrus juices, vinegar, and fermented foods add brightness, contrast, and complexity to dishes. Acid helps to cut through richness, balance sweetness, and impart a refreshing tanginess that enlivens flavours. It can also act as a tenderiser for proteins and vegetables, and as a stabiliser for emulsified sauces. Understanding how to incorporate acid into dishes allows for greater depth of flavour and balance in cooking.
  • Heat: Heat is the transformative element in cooking that alters the texture, flavour, and appearance of ingredients. Proper application of heat techniques, such as roasting, grilling, sautéing, or simmering, allows for the development of complex flavours, caramelisation, and tenderisation of proteins. Controlling the intensity and duration of heat is crucial for achieving optimal results and ensuring ingredients are cooked evenly and to the desired level of doneness.

By mastering the interplay between salt, fat, acid, and heat, you can create well-balanced, flavourful, and satisfying dishes.

Because of the richness of the sauce, the white wine is essential for cutting that down to balance the dish perfectly.

A close-up view of a Coq Au Vin Blanc dish showcasing a tender chicken thigh with crispy skin bathed in a creamy white wine sauce chunks of vegetables, plump mushrooms, and crispy lardons complete the picture

Choosing the Right Wine for this Succulent Chicken in White Wine

Selecting the perfect wine to accompany a dish as intricate and nuanced as Coq au Vin Blanc requires a delicate balance of flavours to complement the rich, creamy sauce and tender chicken. Choose a white wine with a medium to full body to enhance the dish’s flavours without overpowering them. A Chardonnay, Viognier, or Riesling can provide a fruity contrast to the savoury elements of the dish, enhancing its complexity. Ultimately, the key lies in choosing a wine that elevates the dining experience.

Air Fryer vs Oven

Using an air fryer over a traditional oven offers several benefits, chief among them  convenience and efficiency.

Unlike ovens that often require preheating, air fryers eliminate this step, allowing users to cook their favourite dishes with minimal wait time. This saves time and reduces energy consumption, translating into lower utility bills and a more eco-friendly cooking experience.

Additionally, air fryers typically cook food faster than ovens, thanks to their compact design and powerful airflow technology.

What to Serve with your Succulent Chicken in White Wine

While the chicken is cooking, you can throw together a beautiful fresh, green salad to serve before the main attraction.

To accompany your saucy chicken, you can’t go wrong with polenta or herb-infused mashgrilled asparagushoney-roasted carrots, or any sautéed greens.

Enjoyed this Succulent Chicken in White Wine?

Tell me what you thought about this Coq au Vin Blanc! How succulent and delicious was it? Please leave a comment, give this recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

Shop the Equipment​

These are Amazon affiliate links of the products I personally love and recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Instant Digital Large Air Fryer Oven with XXL Capacity.

Sauté pan – try this one, or this one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free – tuck in!   as

Can this recipe be made vegan?

Unfortunately not. 

Can this recipe be made in advance?

You can make the sauce in advance and rest it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the chicken.

What wine can I used for this recipe?

Choose a white wine with a medium to full body to enhance the dish’s flavours without overpowering them. A Chardonnay, Viognier, or Riesling can provide a fruity contrast to the savoury elements of the dish, enhancing its complexity.   as

Can I use an oven if I don’t have an air fryer?

Of course! However, using an air fryer has several benefits, including convenience and efficiency. Unlike ovens that often require preheating, air fryers eliminate this step, saving time and reducing energy consumption. Additionally, air fryers typically cook food faster than ovens. 

Print
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A close-up view of a Coq Au Vin Blanc dish showcasing a tender chicken thigh with crispy skin bathed in a creamy white wine sauce chunks of vegetables, plump mushrooms, and crispy lardons complete the picture

Succulent Chicken in White Wine


  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 - 4 portions

Description

Discover Coq au Vin Blanc – a lighter alternative to traditional Coq au Vin but no less delicious!


Ingredients

Units
  • 200g lardons (thick strips of bacon or pancetta)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 500g chestnut or brown mushrooms, halved
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (or substitute with heavy/double cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Potato or cauliflower mash, or polenta for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the lardons into the air fryer at 190°C (375°F) for 10 minutes. If you do not have an air fryer, simply place the lardons into the roasting tray you will use for the chicken and place it into the oven while it preheats to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Place a sauté pan on a medium heat.
  3. Flick a splash of water into the pan once you think it’s hot enough; if the water dances across the surface of the pan in a tight droplet, it’s ready.
  4. Add a drizzle of neutral cooking oil, swirl to coat, and add your chicken skin side down.
  5. Cook on both sides until lightly golden brown.
  6. Remove the chicken and set aside; don’t wash the sauté pan.
  7. Add the diced carrots and celery to the sauté pan and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the halved mushrooms and shallots to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown and soften.
  9. Remove the crispy lardons from the oven or air fryer and add the lardons as well as the fat into the vegetables.
  10. Stir in the minced garlic, Dijon mustard, and thyme. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
  11. Pour in the white wine and cook off the alcohol on high for 3 minutes, then add the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the dish.
  12. Bring to a simmer and add the crème fraîche. Season to taste, and add a splash of acid (either apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or lemon juice) to balance the sauce.
  13. Tip the sauce into a roasting dish suitably sized for the air fryer and place the chicken thighs skin side up on top.

Cooking time:

In the air fryer: Roast at 170°C (340°F) for 30 minutes.

In the oven: Roast on convection (fan) at 190°C (375°F) for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

  1. While the casserole is baking, prepare the mashed potatoes according to your preferred method. We love this recipe.
  2. Once the chicken is nearly cooked (5 minutes left), remove a thigh or two from the sauce.
  3. Stir together the cornflour and water to make a loose paste, then add the mixture into the sauce, stirring to distribute the cornflour slurry through the sauce.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and cook for the remaining time.
  5. Remove the chicken from the air fryer or oven, stir the sauce, season if needed.
  6. Serve the Coq au Vin Blanc hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley, alongside the mashed potatoes.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Category: Poultry

Keywords: Coq au Vin Blanc, Chicken in white wine, chicken caserole

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