There are those rare times when you stumble upon something you didn’t even know you have been searching for – in this case, it’s these coq au vin meatballs.
As you know, I am always looking for a way to reinvent and modernize French classics. Coq au vin, a traditional wine-braised chicken dish, is one of those French classics that many of you have probably heard about but may not have attempted to make yourself. It’s fantastic, but it’s also the kind of dish that takes a while to prepare and perfect.
On a recent visit to Yves restaurant in New York, I was so taken by Chef Alex Baker’s interpretation of coq au vin as chicken meatballs, in a sauce full of that deep wine and fruit flavor, that I practically begged her for the recipe. She was generous enough to share it so that I could adapt it to make more meatballs at home and share the recipe with all of you!
Coq au vin meatballs are our new family favorite – a dish that is both elegant and earthy.
Some tips: I weighted out all the ingredients using a kitchen scale, but spices and salt are often hard to weigh out in small quantities. I roughly used the following conversion for salt: 1 teaspoon = 5 g. Something small, like half a gram of spice, I just treat as a nice big pinch. And if you have a mini chopper or a food processor, use that to finely chop the onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
- 1 lb ground chicken thighs
- 73 g diced onion
- 8.3 g chopped garlic
- 4 g olive oil
- 1 egg
- 10 g milk
- 53.3 g panko bread crumbs
- 13.3 g salt (about two and a half teaspoons)
- 2 g pepper
- 0.5 g ground coriander
- 2 g ground fennel seed
- 0.5 g chili flakes
- 1.7 g ground dried bay leaf
- 1 g ground dried thyme
- 66.6 g button mushrooms
- 3.6 g olive oil
- MEATBALL SAUCE
- 1.3 cups French red wine, reduced by half
- 0.3 cup red wine vinegar, reduced by half
- 1.3 cup low sodium chicken broth, reduced by half
- 0.3 cup dried cherries
- Sweat garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent.
- If you have a food processor at home, pulse the mushrooms until finely chopped. If not, you can cut by hand. Cook mushrooms on high heat in a a large pan to release all liquid. Stirring constantly until fully cooked into almost a paste. Combine mushroom paste, onions, garlic and spices in a bowl. Let cool.
- Combine eggs and milk and whisk together. Combine all ingredients and mix with your hands just until combined. Do not over mix. Scoop into balls using a 1.5oz ice cream scoop or do it by hand.
- Chill the meatballs - this step is important! When ready to serve, fry in a pan until crispy and heat through in the meatball sauce.
- To make the sauce: reduce all of the liquids and rehydrate the cherries in the reduced red wine in a pot over medium heat until plump. Combine everything in a blender and puree until it forms a smooth sauce. I like to then reheat the sauce all together, before serving.