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This is Julia Child’s recipe for her famous Coq Au Vin (Casserole of Chicken in Red Wine). Most of Julia’s cookbooks included this recipe. In every version in Julia’s cookbooks, she slightly updates the recipe. I have not changed the recipe, but have slightly updated the wording for easier understanding.
Coq au Vin (literally “rooster in red wine”) is probably the most famous of all French chicken dishes, and certainly one of the most delicious, with its rich red wine sauce, its tender onions and mushroom garniture, and its browned pieces of chicken with their wonderful flavor. Ideal for a party because you may prepare it completely a day or more before serving. In fact, Coq au Vin seems to be even better when done ahead so all its elements have time to steep together.
History: Coq Au Vin is a Burgundian dish, and is considered a French comfort food. The traditional recipe for Coq au Vin did not include chicken, but rather a “Coq,” which is a rooster. A lot of recipes originally called for old barnyard fowl, roosters, capon (a de-sexed rooster), and old laying hens. Coq au Vin was originally considered peasant food, and the farmers would make do with what they had on hand.
The red wine in the recipe was used not to mask flavor, but to allow the acids to help break down the old meat of the rooster True coq Au Vin was actually finished with the blood of the rooster stabilized with brandy and vinegar, this would help the blood not clot.
More great Poultry Recipes.
Julia Child’s Coq au Vin Recipe:
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken, skin on and thoroughly dried (I used skinless boneless breasts and thighs instead)*
4 ounces lean thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup cognac
2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais or Chianti)**
2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Brown-Braised Onions (see recipe below)
Mushrooms (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as food agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, advises against washing poultry. Rinsing chicken will not remove or kill much bacteria, and the splashing of water around the sink can spread the bacteria found in raw chicken. Cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit effectively destroys the most common culprits behind food-borne illness.
** Avoid bold, heavily-oaked red wine varietals like Cabernet.
Dry chicken thoroughly in a towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.
Remove any rind off the bacon and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1-inch long). In a saucepan, simmer the bacon sticks in 2 quarts of water for 10 minutes; remove from heat, drain, rinse in cold water, and pat dry.
In a large heavy frying pan, casserole dish, or electric skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil until moderately hot. Add the bacon and saute slowly until they are lightly browned. Remove bacon to a side dish. Place chicken pieces into the hot oil (not crowding pan), and brown on all sides. Return bacon to the pan, cover pan, and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning chicken once.
After browning the chicken, uncover pan, pour in the cognac. Flambé by igniting with a lighted match. Let flame a minute, swirling pan by its handle to burn off alcohol; extinguish with pan cover.
Pour the red wine into the pan and add just enough chicken broth to completely cover the chicken pieces. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover pan, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is tender when pierced with a fork or an instant-read meat thermometerregisters an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Mushrooms (see recipe below).
When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Increase heat to high and boil the cooking liquid rapidly until approximately 2 cups of liquid remains.
While the liquid is boiling, in a small bowl, blend the 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons softened butter into a smooth paste; beat the flour/butter mixture into the approximately 2 cups hot cooking liquid with a whisk. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened (the result will be a sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon – just thick enough to coat the chicken and vegetables lightly). If sauce is too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if sauce is too thick, thin out with additional spoonfuls of chicken stock. Taste the final sauce, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Before serving, reheat the onions and mushrooms (if necessary).
Storing: Chicken is now ready for final reheating, but can be set aside in the sauce until cool, then covered and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. To reheat, simmer slowly, covered, over low heat. Baste and turn chicken every 2 minutes until thoroughly warmed through (6 to 8 minutes). NOTE: Do not overcook chicken at this point.
To serve immediately: Shortly before serving, bring the sauce and the cooked chicken to a simmer, cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until chicken is hot through. NOTE: Do not overcook chicken at this point.
To serve: Either serve from the casserole dish or arrange the chicken on a large platter. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Arrange the Brown-Braised Onions on one side of the chicken and the Mushrooms on the other side. Decorate with sprigs of parsley. Accompany with parsley potatoes, rice, or noodles; buttered green peas or a green salad; hot French bread; and the same red wine you used for cooking the chicken. NOTE: This dish is traditionally served with wide egg noodles.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
12 to 24 small white onions, peeled (or double the amount if you want to use tiny frozen peeled raw onions)*
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
* 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.)
While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife (to keep onions whole during cooking).
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife.
NOTE: Onions may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
NOTE: Mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.
Stewing is autumn and winter. Stew everything! Fruit, meat, vegetables, fish, grains…
When it’s starting to get chilly outside, get in the kitchen and turn it into the warm heart of your home. As you approach the front door with frosty rosy cheeks and with a lack of feeling in your toes, the joy and warmth of a homemade stew wafting around your home is second to none.
Everyone has a favourite stew that has seen them through the colder months, and you can see mine beneath the tips below – it’s so easy and so enjoyable to make.
As far as general stewing rules go, however, there can be some confusion – do you brown the meat? Which vegetables work best? Roots or pulses? Thick or thin sauce? What to serve it with? Believe it or not, there are no right or wrong ways to make stew, so however you like it, have a look at a few tips to give your stew a bit more stew-pendous (I make no apologies).
Investing in the base layer will pay dividends at the end. Do you want it spicy, earthy or rich? You can experiment with store cupboard ingredients and fresh herbs, but here are my tips.
- Pork loves apples, onions and juniper berries.
- Beef loves bay, rosemary and olives.
- Lamb works brilliantly with ground cumin and coriander, dried apricots and fresh ginger.
- Fish loves fennel, tomato and chilli.
- Beans and green vegetables work beautifully with fresh soft herbs like basil, parsley and mint.
- Cook your onions until golden first to make for a sweeter caramelised flavour.
- Try big-hitting flavours like a smoked ancho or chipotle chilli in with beef or a pinch of saffron in with fish.
The main ingredient
Whether you’re going vegetarian or all-out meat, there are things consider when looking for the best flavour.
- Root vegetables could be roasted first to help them keep a bit of body and take on a sweet flavour. Celeriac, swede and squash take on wonderful flavour when coated and roasted with herbs and spices.
- Try using a cheaper cuts of meat like neck, leg and shin or chicken thighs and legs, oxtail, livers or kidneys – you’ll probably get lots more flavour if you give them time in the oven. Rabbit, pheasant and Italian sausages all make for an even stronger taste.
- Mix more expensive fish like monkfish and prawns with cheaper mussels and clams – it doesn’t just save money, it mixes up flavours and textures.
Fillers and bulkers
Here are some cheap, healthy and tasty ways to bulk stews and make them go a little further.
- Grains like pearl barley, rice and bashed-up pasta give extra body
- Beans and lentils add extra protein and keep you fuller for longer
- Potatoes are a cheap and easy way to bulk up a stew – they act like a sponge to suck up cooking liquid.
To thicken a sauce
There’s nothing sadder than a thin stew. If you don’t fancy cooking it for hours and hours until it reduces, here are a few things you can do to get that gorgeous rich texture.
- If you’re browning meat or frying onions, coat it in seasoned flour first.
- If you’re making a spicy stew, add a spoon of smooth peanut butter to the stew– it thickens slightly and add a wicked depth of flavour.
- If you need to thicken the sauce later on in the recipe mix a spoon of flour with a little stock to make a paste and stir a little at a time into the stew.
Once it’s out the oven there is still lots you can do to make your stew look, smell and taste even better.
- Dumplings are a great addition to a hearty winter stew. Suet or potato, little or large.
- Herby breadcrumbs or croutons are a lovely crunchy texture.
- A flavoured chilli oil or pesto works really well with a light chicken or fish stew.
- Simply top with a few chopped fresh herb leaves.
Pip’s hearty beef stew recipe
- 1kg diced shin of beef
- plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
- olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced on an angle
- 2 sticks celery, sliced with any leaves kept to one side
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 litre fresh beef stock
- handful cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful pearl barley
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- few sprigs fresh parsley
Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Mix 2 tbsp plain flour with a good pinch of salt, pepper and the fennel seeds. Toss the meat in the flour and place to one side.
Place a large lidded casserole pan on a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Add the beef to the pan and brown all over. You may need to do this in batches to avoid steaming the meat. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
Put the pan back on a medium heat and add another lug of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes with lid askew, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato purée, then add the beef stock, cherry tomatoes and the beef back to the pan. Stir everything together well. Place the lid on askew. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is tender stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, throw in the pearl barley.
When it’s ready, season to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a little extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and lemon zest on top. Crusty croutons are lovely with this too.
Our beautiful boy at 24 and his pup, Mia!!!!
Longwall Mining ‘Sucked Dry’ or Damaged Six Pennsylvania Streams
This was a great recipe we tried with those amazing radishes from Left Bower Farm!
From the Wall Street Journal
4 salmon fillets
5 tbsp butter
1 c heavy cream
3 c thinly sliced sorrel leaves, stems removed (I used spinach with a little lemon)
12 radishes with greens attached, cleaned and halved
1. Preheat oven to 425
Season salmon with salt.
Place fillets, down on a lightly greased sheet pan and place in oven.
Roast until salmon flakes about 10-15 min.
(We grilled the salmon)
2. put a saute’ pan over med. heat. melt 2 tbsp butter. saute’ shallots about 7 min. add cream and simmer until it reduces slightly and thickens, about 5 min. Add sorrell or spinach leaves. cook till just wilted. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Add salt if needed.
3. Add remain butter and melt in saute’ pan, saute’ radishes until just tender. Season with salt.
Place the sauce on the plate, salmon and radishes on top! Yummy!!! My son claims he doesn’t like fish and he had 3 helpings!!!! Enjoy