I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even add a little to my food. 🙂 I absolutely love that quote. This Mediterranean chicken does take more than a little splash though. Red wine plus fresh herbs plus some dried fruit and let’s take it from there… How does this sounds to you?
First chicken is rubbed with some Mediterranean spices, seared quickly and then braises happily in red wine, fresh herbs and a few apricots. YES, it’s like your regular Coq au Vin gets a little fruity twist! Not too overpowering, just a little hint of sweetness in every bite, along with the amazing sauce created by wine and fresh herbs!
Besides being a good looker, it’s a simple one pot meal that can act like your regular weekday meal or a great elegant company meal to wow your guests. My Mediterranean style braised chicken in wine… The BEST way to finish off that bottle of mediocre red wine… 😉
Guys, this is an Easy Dinner Alert!! You can do this with 20-25 minutes of active prep, and the rest of the cooking is taken care of by your oven. Here we are braising chicken!
A classic chicken braise has three main elements added at various stages: your chicken of course, some aromatics like garlic and onion, and the liquid. Wine in today’s case. We’re also adding some great flavor boosters like fresh herbs, mushrooms, tomato and apricots. The end result is tender, fall of the bone, flavor drenched chicken bathed in a delicious wine sauce, where the acidity of the red wine is balanced by the sweetness from apricots.
All this gorgeousness with just a few basic ingredients
- Chicken – Bone in thighs work best for this one. We are skinning them. If you do leave the skin on, make sure it is not fully submerged in the liquid so it gets exposed to the dry heat in the oven. I can see boneless skinless thighs working here too.
- Red wine – White wine can be used for different flavors.
- Onion – Some days I throw in shallots instead.
- Garlic – Plenty of garlic. 🙂
- Tomato paste
- Chicken broth – We use Better Than Bouillon for our broths. Easy to use and so much better than cubes.
- Dried Apricots – To make that little twist to differentiate it from regular coq au vin. You can experiment with dried figs or prunes.
- Fresh herbs – Rosemary, oregano and parsley. You can use dried herbs in a pinch.
- Spice rub – This is made with dried rosemary, paprika, coriander powder, black pepper and salt.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon Juice
- Pine nuts
Let’s get cooking
We are adding lots of flavor layers to this pot, so instead of seasoning chicken with just salt and pepper let’s make a special Mediterranean spice rub. Mix dried rosemary, paprika, coriander powder salt and pepper in a small bowl. For a variation, you can try smoked paprika. Rub this mixture nicely onto chicken and let it rest while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
You can rest for a few hours in the refrigerator if you have more time. It’s always good when rubs or marinades get to spend some time with your meats, that literally takes any dish to the next level.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the meantime, slice onions and garlic. I am using plenty of garlic here, 8-10 cloves, and keeping the slivers a little bigger. You can halve the mushrooms or keep them whole. Ready your broth, whether you are using Better Than Bouillon or cubes, according to the directions on the package. I guess that’s all when it comes prepping.
Heat a dutch oven or other deep oven safe pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and chicken and fry to give it some nice color and develop great flavors. Resist the temptation to check on it too soon, as it likes to cook undisturbed. 🙂 Fry 7-8 minutes, flip and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Keep them aside.
In the same pot, you are going to create that delicious sauce. Start by sautéing onion for a minute or so. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add in tomato paste, stir. Then add a little wine and scrape all the crunchies from the bottom that chicken left behind. All those brown crunchies are precious, that’s where so much flavor comes from. Add remaining wine and chicken broth. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt if necessary.
Now nestle the chicken thighs into the sauce. Throw in rosemary, oregano, mushrooms and apricots. I promise it won’t turn too sweet, the apricots just impart a slight sweetness to balance the tartness of red wine. Bring to a low boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add this pot of goodies into the preheated oven, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes. Now you can pour yourself a glass of wine from whatever is left in that bottle. 😉 Bake until the chicken is fall off the bone tender and the sauce is reduced by about half. Check half way through for the sauce. If it’s getting too dried out you can add a splash of wine or chicken broth.
While the chicken is braising, toast some pine nuts lightly for garnishing. In a small ungreased pan over medium low heat, toss them a few minutes till lightly browned. Keep a very close eye on them, they can easily scorch.
When your chicken is ready to serve, garnish it with a little fresh lemon juice, more fresh herbs and a few sprinkles of toasted pine nuts. Bring this beauty to your table along with some rice or bread. This is one chicken dish with great flavors from a few very humble ingredients.
How to store leftovers
This chicken refrigerate and freezes very well. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or you can freeze it until later. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat it in a pan on the stove top with a little added water or broth. Or bake in the oven, preheated to 325°F ,until warmed through.
What to serve with this chicken.
Bookmark or pin this great recipe and try it my friends. Don’t you want this pot of gorgeousness simmering in your oven tonight? We are celebrating our first recipe of the second year of GypsyPlate with this coq au vin taken up to the next level!!
Be with us on our food journey, we promise some amazing good food coming your way. We love having you by our side… 🙂
Mediterranean Braised Chicken with Apricots, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try some of our other great chicken recipes!
Crockpot Tuscan Chicken
Trini Curry Chicken
Filipino Chicken Asado
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
Honey Mustard Chicken
Tomato Basil Chicken
Spice Rub for Chicken
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 5-6 bone in skinless chicken thighs
- 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 10 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 10-12 dry apricots
- 12 oz white or baby portobella mushrooms
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dry rosemary
- 2 sprigs of fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 tsp lemon juice for garnish
- 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts for garnish
- Mix together spice rub ingredients in a bowl and rub it all over chicken thighs. Let rest for for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a dutch oven or big oven proof pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook undisturbed for 7-8 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until nice golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pot, add more olive oil if needed and add in sliced onions and sauté for a minute. Add in garlic slices and sauté another minute. Add in tomato paste and stir for a minute. Add a little wine and scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the good brown crunchies left behind from the chicken. Stir in the rest of the wine and chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pinch of salt if necessary.
- Nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce along with rosemary, oregano, mushrooms and apricots. Bring it to a simmer for couple of minutes.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and cook uncovered for about 40-45 minutes. Halfway through check the sauce and if the liquid is drying out add splash of broth or wine to the pot.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium low heat for a minute or two, being careful not to let them scorch.
- Once the chicken is fall off the bone tender, remove from the oven and finish it off with lemon juice and garnish it with few fresh more herbs and toasted pine nuts
- Serve it with bread, couscous or rice.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze up to 2 months.
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 524Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 166mgSodium 854mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 5gSugar 12gProtein 38g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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