When we say chicken, most of us think of deep-fried chicken drumsticks or steamed chicken breasts. While these dishes really are tasty and very common especially among people on the go (in the case of deep fried chicken) and gym goers/bodybuilders (in the case of steamed chicken breast), they are not the only way to enjoy chicken.

Wine can also be added to enhance or complement the natural delicious flavors that good poultry brings. In this article, we discuss two of the most common chicken recipes that make use of wines.

Chicken Cacciatore

Cacciatore in Italian means hunter, so it is safe to say that chicken cacciatore is inspired by and made with the game that hunters gather from their trips. In fact, there is a widely held belief that the first meat used in a cacciatore dish was not chicken but rabbit and other game.

Being a hunter’s dish, there is some simplicity to chicken cacciatore. Of course, it is not so simple that it does not fit food PR agency standards for food presentation and aesthetics. This dish is a classic, and it will always have its own special appeal.

To prepare this dish, you just have to get a stove pot and then cook onions, garlic, and some tomatoes in it. As to how much of each ingredient you’re going to put in, it all depends on you. You can put in more tomatoes if you want the sourness to prevail. You can put in more onion to bring out some sweetness.

When the vegetables are cooked, add in some wine. Now, many people would use white wine and that’s fine. But you can also use red wine. Zinfandel and Merlot are common red wine picks because of their firm tannin content

When the sauce starts to boil, add in your chicken pieces, and then let simmer until the chicken is cooked. It is important to take note here that chicken is a delicate type of meat; it’s important to make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked because only then will it be safe to eat.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is a French phrase that literally translates to chicken or rooster with wine. Given the name, you really can’t get the major ingredients of this dish wrong!

Kidding aside, coq au vin is prepared by stewing chicken in a combination of red wine and a little brandy to bring out a unique amalgamation of flavors. Preparing this dish is a bit more complicated than chicken cacciatore, as this involves marinating and a little flambeing.

To create the marinade, season your red wine with salt, pepper, and herbs and spices of your choice, though bay leaf and thyme are recommended. Add in your chicken and then refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

To cook, put a few pieces of bacon in a pan and cook until the pieces are brown and a lot of the fat has been rendered. Put the chicken on the rendered fat to brown it. Do this in batches if necessary.

In the same pan, cook diced onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Add salt to taste. When the vegetables are already a bit brown, push them to one side and then add a little brandy on the emptied side and then ignite it using a match.

When the flame from the brandy has died down, add in the wine marinade and bring to a boil. Add in the chicken and cooked bacon strips, and then simmer for about an hour or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Now that you know how to prepare chicken with a kick of wine, dinner will never going to be boring again!