icon Coq Au Vin
from Julia Child

Coq au Vin a French braise of chicken cooked with wine, mushrooms, small onions, lardons of pork, and optionally garlic. This combination makes a wonderfully satisfying dish. The preparation is somewhat similar to Chicken Cacciatora, in that both are stews involving chicken, red wine and mushrooms, but the similarities end there. Coq au vin takes more hand work. There are lardons of bacon to prepare for the special flavor they give to the sauce. In Coq au vin, chicken is typically marinaded prior to cooking, the sauce uses roux, and the chicken can be flamed with brandy.

The wine is typically Burgundy red, but many regions of France have variants of Coq au vin using local wines, such as coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), coq au Champagne, and so on. Although the word "coq" means "rooster" most coq au vin recipes call for chicken. In general, mature poultry benefits from long braising, but young chicken breasts or thighs do not need to0 long.


  • 1/2 cup lardons (4 ounces, 1-by-1/4-inch strips of blanched slab bacon or salt pork)
  • 12-20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2-3 lbs chicken thighs and legs, excess fat trimmed, with skin on
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups red wine (pinot noir, zinfandel, chianti etc)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Several fresh thyme sprigs
  • Several fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1/2 cup brandy


  1. Sauté the lardons on medium high heat in a dutch oven big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked lardons, set aside. Keep the fat in the pan.
  2. Add the onions and the chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Flame with the brandy.
  4. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the wine, and herbs. Add the chicken stock, if necessary to cover the meat.
  5. Add back the lardons. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
  6. Remove chicken and onions to a separate plate. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
  7. In a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms in 1 tbsp butter. Add the mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat.
  8. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.
  9. Special note: To blanch bacon or salt pork: When you use bacon or salt pork in cooking, you want to remove its salt as well as its smoky flavor, which would permeate the rest of the food. To do so, you blanch it -- meaning, you drop it into a saucepan of cold water to cover it by 2 to 3 inches, bring it to the boil, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes; the drain, refresh in cold water, and pat dry in paper towels.
  10. YIELD: Serves 4

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Last updated: October 12, 2010