Coq au Vin With Veal Sausage, Thyme, and Merlot From 'Joy of Kosher'

Coq au Vin With Veal Sausage, Thyme, and Merlot From 'Joy of Kosher'

[Photograph: Andrew Purcell]

Coq au vin was one of the first dishes that Jamie Geller learned to cook. As she tells it, her mother-in-law taught her how to gently simmer chicken in red wine sauce shortly after her wedding. The recipe in her new cookbook, Joy of Kosher, is a version of that dish—the chicken and red wine remain the same, but Geller has added slices of flavorful veal (or chicken) sausage to the mix. Mushrooms and pearl onions complement the meat, for an elegant yet easy dish.

Why I picked this recipe: Is sausage and coq au vin a thing? I had never heard of it before, so I was game to try it.

What worked: The smooth, fruity merlot makes a fine sauce for the tender chicken and mild sausage.

What didn't: I've never been a big fan of braised chicken breasts, and this preparation didn't really change my mind. They still end up on the dry side.

Suggested tweaks: This recipe is Kosher for Passover as written. If you have a favorite cut of chicken, you could 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of that cut instead of the whole chicken (I'd probably use 3 1/2 pounds of whole legs next time). Unless you're using a giant Dutch oven, you will likely need to brown the chicken in batches.

Reprinted with permission from Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes by Jamie Geller. Copyright 2013. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:about 2 hours


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 veal, chicken, or beef sausage links (about 6 ounces total), fresh or frozen, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup peeled pearl onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750ml) bottle merlot
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, halved


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. 2.

    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and pour in the olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes total, and transfer to a large plate. Add the sausage to the drippings in the pot and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to the plate with the chicken. Add the onions to the drippings and saute them until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water, the wine, thyme, bay leaf, and reserved chicken and sausage. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake 30 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Add the mushrooms, re‑cover, and bake until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes more.

  4. 4.

    Transfer the chicken, sausage, and all the vegetables with a fine-mesh strainer or slotted spoon to a bowl and keep warm. Remove and discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs so just sauce remains in the pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to coat well and heat through. Serve immediately on a rimmed platter, passing any extra sauce in a gravy boat.