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Thickening Coq au Vin without dairy or gluten

I'm planning on making coq au vin for New Year's Day dinner (making it the day before or the morning of and reheating at dinner). One of my guests cannot have gluten or bovine dairy. I usually thicken with a beurre manie, but with the butter and flour that option is off the table. Can anyone give me some guidance here? I have at my disposal gluten-free flour (Bob's Red Mill), tapioca starch, potato starch, and cornstarch and would prefer not to shop for additional ingredients.

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  1. Cornstarch has a neutral flavor and will thicken the sauce, I also like using gelatin. How thick do you want the sauce, because you can always thicken it by cooking it down? Also, in sauces where the flavor makes sense, I like using an onion puree for some body.

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    1. re: Pookipichu

      you'd be amazed by how rich a sauce can taste with gelatin - it won't get gravy thick but it will have a really nice rich mouth feel that I think will work really well in coq au vin.. . .

    2. Can you not use margarine instead of the butter? It is used in Kosher cooking as a substitute for butter (dairy). Or why not just use olive oil and the gluten free flour.

      1. I'd do the cornstarch. Tapioca works okay but has some hold and reheat issues. You could use blood if you wanted to really get back to basics.

        1. I add lots of extra veggies (carrots, potatoes, celery in this case,) remove and puree some of them and add them back at the end to thicken.

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          1. If you use cornstarch (and I think arrowroot, too), just don't over boil/simmer to thicken. Once thickened, turn the heat down because the sauce may thin out on you.

            1. I would just reduce the sauce and then add the chicken back in for a reheat.

              So much for my New Years menu. You are a disturbing influence. In a nice way.

              1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I can always count on the 'hounds to help me out. Happy New Year to you all and may 2014 bring you a lot of good food!

                1 Reply
                1. re: nofunlatte

                  I usually boil down the sauce as much as I can so I don't have to thicken it with starch. But, a slurry of corn / tapioca starch will help. My favorite chicken dish with boiled potatoe and a good wine will make me happy...

                2. I like potato starch because it's so easygoing. I can just dump it into simmering liquid and it doesn't clump or lump, it just dissolves. I don't know about thinning on the reheat, but I don't recall noticing that it does.

                  An English friend once urged me to try Bisto, her mother's (and plenty of other Englishwomen's) gravy-making secret. I did, found it okay, then was amused to see it's basically flavored potato starch!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    +1 for potato starch. It thickens on contact - no need to bring to boil.

                  2. +1 for potato starch and/or veggie puree.

                    For extra body in your sauce without added thickeners, you can (1) use exclusively thighs & legs in the coq au vin & cook it long enough for the gelatin in the bones to dissolve into the sauce, and (2) cook it with baking potatoes added early, rather than boiling potatoes added late - that will get your potato starch into the dish, plus you have potatoes!

                    1. The traditional dish was thickened with the blood from the chicken, but I'm assuming you don't have that lying around the house. But if you are using a whole chicken which you cut up yourself, then you have the liver, which you should puree up in the blender, raw, with the sauce, then add back to the dish and bring to a simmer. Thickens everything up nicely and adds extra flavor without tasting livery at all.

                      1. Corn starch and arrow root are both gluten free and dairy free.

                        Make a slurry first to whisk out any lumps (using equal amount of the liquid and the starch or arrow root).

                        Arrow root generally works better in acidic liquids like wine, corn starch can break down. (The inverse is true for dairy liquids, which obviously doesn't apply here)

                        I use a tablespoon of one of them per cup of liquid. If you're using a large pot and don't know how much liquid is in it, take out the meat, then look at the bottom of the pot to see the size (8 quarts, etc.)

                        Stick the handle of a wood spoon in it to get an idea of how many cups it is total.

                        Just my .02, though a few days later probably is too late to help. :)