Paleo Quick Coq Au Vin

4 11 2009

Oui. I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking, what kind of silly French dish is this?  Coq au vin?  Really? 

The original French concoction was a way for provincial French wives to make use of an old rooster and took a long time to prepare.

My version is quick and easy and best of all, fits into the paleo diet.

Note, I personally do not eat mushrooms.  I leave them out when I make this, but I will put them in the recipe for those of you who do enjoy them.

So, let’s get to the food!


4 chicken breasts

5-6 strips of thick cut bacon

Package frozen pearl onions (thawed)

2-3 carrots

Container of cremini or button mushrooms

¼ cup of almond flour

2 tbs of tomato paste

1 ½ tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

3-4 cloves garlic minced

Red wine of choice


  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks and put in a zip top with almond flour.  Shake to coat.
  2. Peel carrots and cut into ¼ inch slices.  Set aside.
  3. If you choose to partake of the mushrooms, wash them and cut them into quarters.  Set aside.
  4. Cut bacon into half inch strips (these little chunks of bacon are refered to as “lardons” by the French) Put into large skillet or stew pot over medium heat.  Brown.
  5. Remove bacon.
  6. Add onions and carrots and cook until they start to caramelize (get brown and release their sugars), about 5-10 minutes.  Remove the onions.
  7. If you are a mushroom eater, now is the time to add them and brown them.  Pull them out and set them aside.
  8. Add chicken to the pot.  Brown.  Pull chicken out.
  9. Put garlic and tomato paste in the pot along with the rest of the almond flour from the chicken.  Cook for a couple of minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic)
  10. Add in a little wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (This is known as de-glazing)
  11. Add in half to three quarters of the bottle of wine.  Add in spices, carrots, chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the broth starts to thicken.
  12. Sprinkle bacon over the top and serve hot.

I like to serve this over spaghetti squash or zucchini that has been sliced into strips and sautéed until soft in olive oil and garlic. 



Chicken in Avocado Green Chile Sauce with Spicy Butternut Squash

7 10 2009
2 chicken breasts

put in pan with water and cover on med high heat for 15 minutes. Pull chicken out and shred. Set aside.

2 cloves garlic minced
dice half an ancho chile
4-5 diced tomatillos
cilantro to taste

Put in saucepan with 1 tbs canola oil and heat over medium heat until tomatillos start to break down. Once sauce is cooked, add in: 1-2 ripe avocados mashed with 1 tbs lime juice

Mix chicken into sauce

I served with:
Butternut squash, peeled seeded and diced that I boiled and smashed with a little olive oil and the other half of the ancho chile. If you want the squash sweeter (which I may do next time), roast the squash in the oven at 350 with a little oil on it instead of boiling to bring out the natural sugars to caramelize a little.

Spicy Garlicy Chicken “Spaghetti”

7 10 2009
First split a spaghetti squash with a machete. I’m not kidding, these puppies are tough.  Ok, so if you don’t happen to have a machete lying around the kitchen, get a cheap Chinese-style butcher knife (see picture).  Cut a small slice from the squash side so that it can now lay flat.  Put the blade along the squash vertically.  Take a wooden or rubber mallet and tap the top of the knife to push the blade through the squash until it is split.  Please do not ruin any good knives over these beasts!
 Scoop out seeds. Put foil on a baking sheet and place squash flat side down on the sheet. Put in oven at 375 for 45-minutes to an hour or until the outside looks a bit brown and you see brown oozing goodness coming out from the squash. Trust me, the caramelized goodness of the baked version is so worth it.

Or, if you have no patience, put the halves flat side down in a microwave-safe dish with about an inch of water and microwave until inside is soft and stringy. Oh, and poke some holes in the round side of the squash before you microwave it.

In either case, when the squash is cooked, use a big spoon to scoop the stringy deliciousness into a bowl or onto plates. Season with a little salt and pepper.

For the chicken:

2-3 large chicken breasts cut into palm-sized pieces
4 cloves garlic minced (I like garlic, what can I say)
2 small or 1 medium onion, diced
1 cup red wine
1 12 oz can crushed tomatoes (find a brand where the ingredients are: tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
2 tbs olive oil

Put olive oil in a pan and heat up over medium high heat. Brown chicken pieces on both sides. Remove. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add spices. Add wine to scrape up brown bits. Add can tomatoes. Put chicken back in. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer in sauce for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over squash.