Here's the Cook's Illustrated recipe for a more "contemporary" Coq au Vin. I'm not sure it's "FANTASTIC," but a lot of people, including a few friends whose taste I know, think it's great.
Cook's Illustrated Coq-au-Vin
A medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir or RhÃ´ne Valley Grenache is best for this recipe. Avoid bold, heavily oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet and light-bodied wines like Beaujolais. To use fresh pearl onions, trim the root and stem end of each onion and discard. Boil for 1 minute, shock in ice water, then peel a thin strip from root to stem. Remove any remaining outer skin (it's like peeling off a jacket). If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.) Serve the stew with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Serves 4 to 6
1 bottle fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red wine (see note above)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 ounces bacon , preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise
Table salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 frozen pearl onions , thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup) (see note above)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms , wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserve for later use), broth, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.
3. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of chicken in single layer and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.
5. Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices, and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
6. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately