Poulet au Vin Jaune

Snowy Jura vineyardThe Jura region in the east of France is blessed with beautiful scenery, idiosyncratic wines and delicious food, especially poultry raised in the AOC area of Bresse.

Henri IV of France is remembered for saying: “If God keeps me, I will make sure that there is no sharecropper in my kingdom who does not have the means to have a chicken in the pot every Sunday!”. You will find many recipes for casseroled chicken, especially Coq au Vin.

However, the Jura goes one better with a unique dish using Bresse chicken (or the majestic capon) cooked in Vin Jaune, made even better with morel wild mushrooms and, for this is a dairy region, cream!

Although not a classic dish (its ingredients can be very costly) by 1961 Poulet au Vin Jaune was well-enough established that the Michelin red guide named it as a specialty of all three of the starred restaurants in Arbois.

Although we have eaten this dish on a number of occasions I had not cooked it until last New Year’s Eve when we had good friends to stay and share in a relaxing evening of conversation, good wine and food.

Vin Jaune, Château d'Arlay, Côtes du Jura 2002

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A classic wine to drink with this dish is of course a Vin Jaune – this is the one we enjoyed:

Vin Jaune, Château d’Arlay, Côtes du Jura 2002
Gold. Warm spicy lemon with a touch of (French) curry. Dry, juicy, good acidity. Big on the palate with the preserved lemon and spice continuing to a long finish.

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Poulet au Vin Jaune

Ingredients

  • 25g dried morels
  • 2kg free range chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 250ml dry white wine (Jura if possible!)
  • 500ml crème fraîche
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 75ml Vin Jaune (using rest to enjoy with this dish!)

Note

I decided to use a free-range chicken, less expensive than a Poulet de Bresse and a bottle of Vin Jaune; it would be quite alright to cook with a good Jura white wine adding a glass of the pricey Vin Jaune to complete the dish.

Directions

Step 1
Morels soaking, Poulet au Vin Jaune
Clean the dried morels with a brush or, if necessary, rinse under running water, knowing that some flavour will be lost along with the dirt.
Soak the dried morels in warm water for at least 20 minutes, then drain, reserving that liquid to add later to the pot.
Step 2
Flouring, Poulet au Vin Jaune
Lightly flour and season the chicken pieces.
Step 3
Cooking, Poulet au Vin Jaune
In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, cook the pieces gently in the butter without letting the pieces colour.
Step 4
Adding wine, Poulet au Vin Jaune
Add the wine, stock, and liquid from soaking the dried morels
Step 5
Cook, covered, over low heat, turning from time to time, removing the breast pieces after about 20 minutes, the legs after 30 minutes, putting them in a covered dish.
Step 6
Skim the fat carefully from the surface of the liquid in the pot, and reduce it
almost to a glaze.
Step 7
Cream added, Poulet au Vin Jaune
Add most of the Vin Jaune, cream and morels.
Step 8
Cook several minutes to evaporate the alcohol, continuing until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the wooden spoon.
Step 9
Finishing, Poulet au Vin Jaune
Return the chicken and heat through. Taste the sauce, adjust the seasoning. If needed add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Step 10
Poulet au Vin Jaune
All this dish needs is, say, a rice pilaff cooked with some curry powder which adds a complementary spicy note.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Poulet au Vin Jaune

  1. Thanks Brett.

    I love the pics of the vineyards in the winter.

    I really need to come visit, meet you in Arbois and spend a few days together touring.

    Have a great weekend my friend!

Do let me know what you think!