Coq au vin blanc conjures up thoughts of lazy Sundays at home and long, slow cooking. However, with the Instant Pot®, a delicious, melt in your mouth coq au vin blanc becomes practically effortless.
I have used an old-fashioned pressure cooker for years — mainly for preparing beans and pulses. Occasionally, I use it to make creamy rice dishes, such as this kichdi or to break down tough cuts of meat. However, I’ve never used the pressure cooker more than once a week.
Like many people, had horror stories about exploding pressure cookers lingered in the back of my mind. Thus, I subconsciously relegated the device to the realm of dangerous things used only when absolutely necessary. I also associated pressure cooking with items that need to be cooked until gray.
What a shame! Since the arrival of the Instant Pot® in my home less than a week ago, I’ve discovered that pressure cooking is not simply a timesaver. Foods cooked in it also retain more natural texture, colour, and flavour.
There is no cheating with pre-chopped garlic or store crushed ginger when pressure cooking. You will immediately taste the difference — and lack of freshness.
When using fresh ingredients, on the other hand, you will find that their natural flavours are actually more pronounced and distinctive. Moreover, veggies such as potatoes — which have a tendency to disintegrate — come out thoroughly cooked, flavourful and intact.
Thus, dishes like this coq au vin blanc will come out differently than they would when slow cooked for hours and hours. So, this may not be a traditionalist’s favourite dish. However, it is so delicious you will probably find yourself eating more than you intended!
About the Recipe
Coq au vin blanc is a timeless country dish. It’s one of those foods you imagine people cooking over a blazing fire in a giant hearth hundreds of years ago. Thus, it’s also a dish that traditionalists hate to see changed.
However, it is my philosophy that cuisine and culture are continually evolving. For me, this is important and necessary. It’s what’s always been done. As new technologies, spices and information come to light, creative cooks everywhere innovate! So, it is with this coq au vin blanc.
If you’re making this dish for Sunday supper, you may wish to thicken the sauce with a roux at the end or add a hit of cream to it. Those are always options. However, for a healthier, every day option which reflects the fresher way we all like to eat today, try this method.
You will be surprised to find you can actually taste the baby potatoes, which still retain their shape and their natural sweetness. The mushrooms, rather than becoming slimy and mushy, retain their shape while their flavour intensifies, adding a rich earthiness to the sauce.
The one nod to tradition I thoroughly endorse is eating this meal with a hearty country-style bread with which you can sop up all the delicious sauce. I am certain this quick, fresh take on coq au vin blanc will leave your family begging for more, just as mine did! Bon appétit!
Light and Healthy Instant Pot™ Coq au Vin Blanc
Coq au vin blanc, a staple of French country cooking is as delicious as ever -- but fresher, lighter, and faster when prepared in the Instant Pot™. Even your kids will love this warming, soul satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 125 g streaky bacon, sliced into thin strips
- 8 chicken thighs (approximately 1 kg)
- 1 medium leek, carefully cleaned, and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 400 g mixed button mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 700 g baby potatoes, washed and quartered
- 1 c white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt + more, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
- Step 1 Set Instant Pot to [sauté]. When the screen displays the word “Hot”, add the butter and the bacon slivers to the pot. Cook until bacon has rendered and becomes crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate, leaving the rendered fat behind.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs well with dried thyme, and freshly ground salt and pepper.
- Step 3 Press the [sauté] function, until you see “More” lit up on the temperature display. This brings it to high heat. Add 4 of the chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook until golden brown. Then turn to sear and seal the second side. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with the other 4 thighs and remove to the plate.
- Step 4 Add sliced leek and 1 teaspoon salt to the empty pot. Cook for a minute or two, until wilted, fragrant and softened. Add the minced garlic. Cook for an additional minute until the garlic is fragrant. Then, add the wine and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. Then select [Cancel] to turn off the pot.
- Step 5 Add potatoes, mushrooms, chicken, bacon bits, and fresh thyme to the pot, tamping down, if necessary, to ensure the contents do not pass the 2/3 line on the inside of the pot. Cover and lock lid. Select [Poultry] until you see “Less” on the temperature panel and leave to cook.
- Step 6 Once cooking is complete, release pressure carefully using the quick release method.
- Step 7 Remove thyme branches from pot. Garnish with parsley and serve with a good, crusty, country style bread.