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Posted on April 17, 2020

Classic French Cuisine: A How-To on Coq Au Vin

Meaning ‘rooster with wine’, coq au vin is a staple in French cuisine. Culinary master Julia Child included the recipe in her 1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook and even made the dish twice on her PBS cooking show The French Chef. While the name includes ‘rooster’, most modern takes on the dish use chicken. Other common ingredients in coq au vin include mushrooms, onions, garlic, and burgundy wine, along with multiple spices.

The history behind the dish is quite interesting. Some people believe the concept of or idea behind coq au vin was born after King Henri IV proclaimed that there should be “a chicken in every pot.” Whether it’s the true origin of the dish, we’ll never know. What we do know is that the first documentation of the recipe was in the 1864 cookbook Cookery for English Households as “poulet au vin blanc”, meaning ‘chicken with white wine’. 

Crafting the Dish

With this recipe from Delish, we can recreate this iconic dish in no time. First, along with access to a dutch oven and a traditional oven, we’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 1″ pieces 
  • 8-oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8-oz. pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. red wine
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for serving

After you’ve gathered all the ingredients, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 350° and season your chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, in the dutch oven, cook your bacon strips for about 8 minutes, or until crispy. Once done, remove the bacon and replace it with chicken, cooking each side for 4-5 minutes until all skin is golden brown. Be sure to leave 3 tablespoons of oil after removing the chicken and draining excess oil. 

Now that the meats are done, it’s time for the vegetables. Cook the mushrooms, onions, and carrots for 5 minutes before adding in garlic and cooking for an additional minute. Add the tomato paste, gently coating all the vegetables, then mix in the flour. Before adding the chicken and bacon back to the pot, add the wine, broth, and brandy. Top off with thyme, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Place the lid on the pot and put it into your oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165°. Remove the chicken and return the pot to the stove, adding in the butter and allowing the sauce to thicken. Once your sauce is ready, pour it over your dish and garnish with the remaining bacon and parsley. There you have it – coq au vin!

French Cuisine from Us to You

If you love the various French dishes that Le Manhattan Bistro offers, try to channel your inner Julia Child and recreate this classic meal at home, that your family is sure to enjoy. Au revoir!