Coq au Vin

coq au vin

Along with prime rib and making my own perfect creamy risotto, Coq au Vin is on my culinary New Year’s Resolution list. So when I received this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, selecting a recipe from The Bad Girl’s Kitchen was an easy choice.

I’ve looked at Julia Child’s recipe for Coq au Vin many times and always have found an excuse not to make it. The browned onions sound like a chore, cooking the mushrooms separately and getting them just right makes me nervous, but it’s really all about the “add cognac and flambe” issue. To me, flambe means an automatic visit from the fire department.

Coq au Vin (rooster in wine) is probably the most famous of all French chicken dishes. Rich with red wine sauce, tender with onions and mushrooms and browned pieces of chicken, what’s not to love.

Google tells me that Coq au Vin is a Burgundian dish, French comfort food. The original recipe instructed one to use a rooster, rather than a hen. Considered peasant food, the red wine was used to break down the old meat of the rooster rather than for flavor. True Coq was finished with the blood of the rooster and stabilized with brandy and vinegar so the blood would not clot.

This is all making Julia’s flambe recipe sound much more approachable.  

As with any braised meat dish, we found this to be delicious! I used Benton’s bacon, a gift from Larry over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings. Benton’s gave the dish a bit too much of a smoky flavor, so I will use a cheaper and less gourmet bacon selection next time. I substituted a Columbia Crest H3 Merlot in place of the White Zinfandel.

The texture of this dish was so creamy, the flavor of the chicken exciting in a classic savory style.   And the mashed potatoes were a perfect base for the meal bringing about a “melt in your mouth” experience.

Thanks to The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for this recipe.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Coq au Vin
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ pound bacon. chopped
  • 1½ pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 & ½ cups carrot slices
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 really large bunch green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 & ½ cups white zinfandel (I used red wine)
  • 2 tablespoons Better Than Chicken Base
  • 2 cups boiling hot water
  • fresh parsley sprigs
  • fresh tarragon sprigs
  1. Place flour in a large plastic bag, add chicken, seal and shake to coat chicken with flour.
  2. In a large saute' pan brown bacon until crumbly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. In the bacon drippings stir fry the chicken pieces until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Add butter. Scrape bottom to loosen and browned bits. These will add great flavor. When butter is melted add carrots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add celery and onions and saute until tender.
  5. Whisk together wine, boiling water, chicken base and seasonings. Pour over vegetables.
  6. Add back in the chicken and bacon pieces.
  7. Cover and bring to a boil.
  8. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce is thick.
Coq au Vin…It’s What’s for Dinner.
From the Kitchen of Lea Ann Brown, A Denver Area Food Blog, recipes with Western flair

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    • says

      It seemed that the person who did the original design let her website expire where my background settings existed. I got it fixed and then had to head out to work. I need to talk in more detail with the person who fixed it. I’m going to have her do some tweaks to the design also.

  1. says

    Coq au Vin is a favorite, but I’m happy we’re not messing around with the blood of the rooster any longer. Red wine does just fine, LOL. Good choice for a January reveal.

  2. says

    Glad to hear you left the rooster behind– what a process that sounded like! Your dish looks and sounds wonderful. The lighting of your photograph is nice too, did you get indoor lights for photography? I keep debating it and haven’t purchased any yet.

    • says

      I do have a set of lights. They weren’t all that expensive, maybe $125. Cowboy productions. And yes I used them for this photograph even though it wasn’t dark out, it was a cloudy day.

  3. says

    Oh my gosh, I was planning a chicken dish for dinner tomorrow night, and now I am so tempted to try this – it looks so delicious! Great choice, and awesome to be able to cross something off of the list so early in the year!

  4. says

    Coq au vin is one of our all time favorites, but I’ve yet to make it this year. I agree with Benton’s bacon making it too smoky. I seem to recall blanching bacon first in some coq au vin recipes. Your version sounds delicious Lea Ann and much more approachable.

    • says

      I agree, this was approachable Sam. Coc au Vin does not come off by NY Resolution list until I make Julia’s. The blanching of bacon sounds interesting and makes sense.

  5. says

    I’ve made Coq au Vin before… it was really good, but I would only make it once… I have no patience for French cooking!!! lol
    Yours looks perfect, Lea Ann!!

  6. says

    I made this dish a few months back for Julia’s birthday and I am so glad that we both lived to tell the tale and there was no fire department involvement. It is a lovely dish. You’ve inspired me to make it again.

  7. says

    I have seen this recipe numerous times but have never actually made it. Julia’s recipe is a little daunting and this SRC recipe choice appears to be much more user friendly. Looks delicious, Lea Ann. Your blog is looking great this morning.

  8. Marla says

    I’ve had the same thoughts about Julia’s recipe and have always wanted to try this dish. I’ll definitely give this one a try!

  9. says

    You’re putting up posts faster than I can read and comment on them. Sorry to hear the bacon was to smoky – probably would have been just right for me. I’ve always wanted to make this dish, but not so sure after what Google told you :-).
    Glad it turned out well for you.

  10. says

    Roosters, blood and fire – now there’s some adventurous cooking! 😀 I have never had this dish, but you make me want to try it. Wine, chicken, bacon and herbs are a winning combination. Did you ever try the risotto recipe I posted? It’s rich with 4 Tbsp of butter, but fool proof and crazy delicious. Remember to get Carnaroli rice (the king of rices according to our friend Wiki).

    • says

      Thank you for the reminder about the risotto recipe. That’s the one I use when I make my first risotto. I must wean myself off the Lundburg boxed risitto, which is pretty darn good by the way. And I’ll start looking for that Camaroli rice. Thanks, Vickie.

  11. says

    very nice job… and it make sense with the preparation of this peasant style dish that a rooster was used… makes me want a plate, esp with that ‘melt in you mouth’ goodness….

    • says

      Growing up on a farm, with chickens and roosters running amuck, I agree Drick. Wait a minute…I wonder if we ever ate a rooster? Anyway, yes, this is a melt in your mouth dish.

  12. says

    I love coq au vin. My blogger friend ( The Other Penny) made it with boneless chicken thighs and white wine and it was delicious. Your book is in the mail. BTW thanks for your comments on Daisy’s (our dog’s) blog. She is having a couple of health problems right now.

    • says

      I most certainly plan on making this again Penny and will make a note about the chicken thighs. I sure hope little Daisy is ok and back at the computer soon.

  13. says

    Yep, Benton’s is great stuff but it is almost more like thin smoked ham than ordinary bacon. There are some dishes where it is a little too much.

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