Coq Au Vin Recipe

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This is Alton Brown's recipe. It's actually sort of a pain to make, it takes two days and every pot in your house, but it's sooo delicious and I love cozy stewed things for fall.

Use slab bacon if you can find it. I always end up with a gross-looking package of Hormel salt pork, which works fine but is really salty. Be careful of how much you salt the other elements because the pork is salty enough. I use cremini mushrooms.

Also, I always feel like this recipe doesn't come together until the very very end, so if you're at the final simmer and it doesn't look pretty yet, don't panic.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6


Cost per serving $8.50 view details
  • 24 to 30 pearl onions
  • 4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 (5 to 7-pound) stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 ounces salt pork, slab bacon, or lardon, cubed
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 (750-ml) bottles red wine, preferably pinot noir
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth


  1. Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an "x" with your knife in its place. Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. You should be able to slide the onions right out of their skin. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into a 7 to 8-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  8. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
  9. Once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm. Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes.
  10. Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired.
  11. Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 1353g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 1113  
Calories from Fat 406 36%
Total Fat 45.18g 56%
Saturated Fat 16.69g 67%
Trans Fat 0.1g  
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 969mg 40%
Potassium 1954mg 56%
Total Carbs 90.65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 14.7g 49%
Sugars 34.36g 23%
Protein 21.32g 34%
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  • John Spottiswood
    October 17, 2008
    This looks great, Maria! I've made Coq au Vin many times from Julia Childs' "The way to cook". It's a bit easier. Will be fun to try your recipe and compare. Thanks for sharing!

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