coq au vin

Despite it being an amateurish cliché, blaming your mother and all, I have to insist because it’s completely her fault that that anything less than Julia Child’s coq au vin with brown-braised baby onions and sautéed mushrooms on Tuesday night would be inedible, cruel beyond comparison. You see, she is the one who after reading the post about my unending obsession with Paris and French food, bought me My Life in France, which is akin to putting a loaded, I don’t know — egg beater? in my infatuated hands. I am but 75 pages into the book and I’m ready (and not for the first time) to book my one-way ticket. If nothing else, I plan to hold my breath or at least cut off bacon-and-meat kitchen dallies until my husband sends me to the Cordon Bleu.

The book speaks to me, though. Julia, like myself, was newly-married when she went to Paris and not entirely sure what she wanted to do when she grew up. She fell in love with the French approach to food — making chicken taste more “chickeny,” I believe she said — and had the time to experiment. In case the volume on this site doesn’t clue you in, so do I, and more importantly, I did on Tuesday, bestowed on me by my wonderful corporate overlords in the form of an additional day off.

coq au vin

Of course, being a bit more lazy and recalcitrant that our heroine, I lollygagged in front of the television eating a soggy bowl of Shredded Wheat until nearly 3 p.m. before finally getting up the energy to walk four blocks to the store, thus beginning a dish at nearly 5 p.m. that took many hours to make. But my oh my; it’s not that I should be surprised that a dish of chicken cooked in a sauce of bacon, red wine, beef stock and butter would be outstanding, but I didn’t think my husband would declare it the best chicken dish he’d ever eaten, because that boy, he eats a lot of chicken. (He later abridged this to say that my chicken marsala is his favorite, but I think he’s wrong.)

I liked it even better the second day (last night) when all the flavors had snuggled more cozily into each other, but sadly, we’d greedily picked out all the onions on the first serving. I know that steeping more than a dozen baby onions in boiling then freezing water, peeling them, browning them in butter and then braising them for 40 minutes in beef stock sounds like a miserable process, but I promise you it’s worth your time.

coq au vin

All of this is; her recipes are always ridden with steps that make you question her sanity, as well as yours for following them — for example, this one requests that you boil bacon, which some might remember caused Julie/Julia some hilarious righteous indignation:

Julia has suggested boiling the bacon for the quiche for five minutes. This sounds to me suspiciously like an activity that would prevent bacon from tasting like bacon. But who am I to question. I’ll boil the frickin bacon.

But myself and millions of others follow them because every single time we do, the end-product blows our tastebuds and beliefs about food — chicken, boring chicken! — out of their repetition-induced comas. If this isn’t an honorable exchange of a few more hours of soggy cereal and television bobble-heads, I don’t know what is. Oh right: I got to light the dish on fire with a match, my husband standing next to me with his phone on speed-dial to the NYC Fire Department. Now are you convinced?

coq au vin, aflame!

[Update: Yes, so. There is really no excuse for it taking me one month and two days to finally type up this recipe for you, except that I am hopelessly forgetful and also, it is 850 words. But it’s here now and I’ll be plenty happy to avoid this procrastination and the ensuing guilt in the future, m’kay?]

Coq Au Vin [Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms and Bacon]
Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Feeds 4 to 6 people

A 3- to 4-ounce chunk of bacon
A heavy, 10-inch, fireproof casserole
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups young, full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Chianti
1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
12 to 24 brown-braised onions (recipe follows)
1/2 pound sautéed mushrooms (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
Sprigs of fresh parsley

1. Remove the rind of and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry. [Deb note: As noted, I’d totally skip this step next time.]
2. Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Remove to a side dish.
3. Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole.
4. Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.
5. Uncover, and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
6. Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.
7. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms (recipe follows).
8. Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
9. Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (buerre manie). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
10. Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. If this dish is not to be served immediately, film the top of the sauce with stock or dot with small pieces of butter. Set aside uncovered. It can now wait indefinitely.
11. Shortly before serving, bring to the simmer, basting the chicken with the sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is hot enough.
12. Sever from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with spring for parsley.

Oignons Glacés a Brun [Brown-braised Onions]
Mastering the Art of French Cooking

For 18 to 24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
A 9- to 10-inch enameled skillet
1/2 cup of brown stock, canned beef bouillon, dry white wine, red wine or water
Salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 3 parsley springs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth

When the butter and oil are bubbling the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.

Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the herb bouquet. Serve them as they are.

Champignons Sautés Au Buerre [Sautéed Mushrooms]
Mastering the Art of French Cooking

A 10-inch enameled skillet
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions (optional)
Salt and pepper

Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating that it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

Toss the shallots or green onions with the mushrooms. Sauté over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

Sautéed mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.

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97 comments on coq au vin

  1. I am so glad you got to convene with Julia, and coq au vin is a poultry dish even a non-chicken eater can love. Her boeuf bourginon is also swoon worthy- I was making it once and had that little cup of red wine leftover from those 3 cups added to the stew. Normally I would have corked the bottle for something else, but I just heard Julia’s voice in my head and instead stood there, sipping my glass of wine, as I stirred the stew on a cold afternoon.

  2. Dani

    Two things strike me about this story…1)I never heard anyone make lowly chicken sound so phenomenal. 2) I can’t believe you eat cereal – ha ha I imagine you whipping up a gourmet breakfast every morning.

    On another note I made the biscotti AND the truffles over this holiday weekend. My tastebuds sang all weekend long. Thanks for that :)

  3. Marie

    Hmmm. Sat. nite the in-laws cocktail party. Sun. leftovers. Tues. you were able to eat, again. p.s. I don’t boil the bacon, so sue me. I think they had different bacon in France. Very salty bacon.

  4. Mel

    Ah-interesting. I too am reading the book and didn’t realize how ‘late’ in life Julia started cooking. My first reaction was “there’s still hope for me” LOL. I went so far as to find out that there is a 2y baker certificate available from our local technical college. Alas, my work permit here doesn’t allow me to attend classes.
    So please- off to Paris you go to become the next great Julia Child!

  5. I loved My Life in France, and while I am not really a cook, I am a food voyeur. I especially love reading the how and why behind a dish, and I am so glad that trend has picked up in cookbooks now. I hate just reading a recipe without any sidenotes or stories.

    Vive le plus chickeny chicken.

  6. jill

    I adored My LIfe in France. I couldn’t put it down and cooked out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking for weeks after i finished it. My favorite part was when she described her first meal in France when she and Paul were fresh off the boat It was like Proust and his madeline, no? She was a treasure — one of a kind, unique, beautiful.

  7. Are you kidding me? I am coming over. First French toast, now you owe me what ever the FLUFF that is. It looks amazing. I got an extra day off this weekend too….. on Tuesday, to mourn some dead president. So excited.


  8. I’m also enjoying My Life in France. I love her descriptions of all her food discoveries, the grasping of the French respect–even reverence–for food. But one of my favorite little throwaway moments was Julia and Paul waiting as their Buick station wagon(!) was lifted from the boat’s cargo hold.

  9. My Life in France also swept me away! I know exactly what you mean about the one way ticket and I was in Paris when I read it.
    Julia is certainly into the details in her cooking but yes I got the same results when I did this chicken. I just can’t write it so well as you.
    Have a wonderful new year and keep bringing us wonderful writing and recipes!!!

  10. I just discovered your site and I just adore it. I’ve been wanting to make a classic coq au vin but was unsure as to what recipe I ought to try out. Looks like it’s going to be Julia’s. Thank you so much. I can’t wait.

  11. Hey, not to be a pest, but is this recipe coming? I would love to make it on Sunday. :) Your pictures make it look amazing, and your description was definitely drool-worthy.


  12. deb

    I am so busted. I promise to make every effort possible to type it up this evening. (And yes, I promised someone else the same two nights ago. So much for trying to cure myself of my slacker ways!)

  13. RESPECT! I made this yesterday for a family dinner and it was amazing. Very hearty, complex taste. I did boil the bacon beforehand, because Greek bacon is a tad salty. Turned out great. I am so glad I found out about Julia Child. She is completely unknown in Greece of course, but her recipes are flawless.

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  14. This looks amazing, but is there a way to substitute something for the bacon and beef broth? I don’t consume pork or other red meats, but this looks so fabulous I’d love to try it out.

  15. Katie

    Ah, Coq Au Vin, lover.
    This is my *ultimate* comfort food. Julia’s recipe is AMAZING. I don’t know what could be a better far dinner. I’m SO making this tonight.
    My husband will just have to wait for that pork roast..

  16. Joss

    Am I the only one for whom the recipe has mysterious capital ‘A’s in place of the amount of some ingredients? No one else has mentioned this . . .

  17. deb

    That is because it is a new issue that we are trying to clean up on the back end. In the meanwhile, simply ignore all instances. The recipe and the numbers and letters on either side of the “A”s are correct.

  18. I made this last night (with a few modifications out of pure laziness), and it came out great! I served it over buttered egg noodles, but I’m eager to try it over mashed potatoes. Thanks!!!!

  19. gentlekath

    A little labor intensive, but I cant believe how good it turned out. I made a few modifications, not as much salt, a pinch more pepper. I didnt make the herb bouquet, no cheesecloth around. So I just added the fresh herbs in the pot. I didnt have the small onions so I just chopped up a regular white/sweet one. Turned out absolutely fantastic! My family thought I was a genious. I just smiled. I made fried poatoes with fresh chives and sour cream and a beautiful romaine salad with a light dressing. Then I topped it off with that lemon cake recipe you gave us. My kitchen was such a mess, but it was SO WORTH IT!

  20. Jessica

    I made this a few weeks ago, and it was fantastic! I love that the mushrooms and onions maintain their own flavor when they’re cooked on their own, rather than braised with the chicken. However, I skipped the bacon boiling step, and my sauce was very salty. A little time with a chunk of potato in the sauce, some added water and a little roux, and everything turned out fine. Next time, I’ll defer to Julia’s instruction! :-)

  21. Amanda

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! I left out the mushrooms (one guest had a strong preference against them)but the dish wasn’t lacking at all despite that! The onions were decadent; it’s the only way to describe them. I would spend all the effort to make this dish just on the onions. I served this with potatoes roasted in butter and rosemary and the sauce complimented them nicely.

  22. Mindy

    Made this on Saturday night and it was a huge hit! I loved every (long) minute of preparing it! And yes, the onions were to die for. I can’t wait to make them again! I served it over buttered egg noodles and it was delicious!

  23. Suzanne

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for bacon or a way to cook around it? We don’t eat pork but this dish sounds amazing. Thank you!

  24. Deb, I made this on Friday to celebrate my partner’s return from a business trip. Took me hours to put together, but was it ever fun to cook – and SO worth the effort. Absolutely perfect for a cold winter’s night in Toronto. (Oh, those onions…) My man raved about it – it was a very special dish. We both have leftovers in our lunches today.

    I did find it a bit salty, but I’m not sure that it was leaving out boiling the bacon that did it – I think it was because I seasoned all the separate components just slightly too much, so when it all came together…well, you know. (My partner, on the other hand, thought the seasoning was just right.)

    Am loving your blog – thanks so much for the continual inspiration!

  25. Toni

    Have just finished watching Julie & Julia & am trawling the internet for her Coq Au Vin & Boeuf Bourguignon recipes! Love your description of this one & can’t wait to try it this weekend. Sounds like a lot of work though, better ensure to get my beauty sleep the night before LOL :)

  26. joehawkins

    just discovered your wonderful blog… WoW! love it… can’t wait to explore it more. :) i just made coq au vin (with an actual rooster!) and really enjoyed it. can’t wait to try it again with your wonderful rendition of julia’s recipe. regarding boiling the bacon… i was just introduced to guanciale (cured pork jowl, not smoked) and used it as substitute for the bacon. it was divine (i am a lardo fanatic as well). i read somewhere that bacon can be boiled to substitute for the guanciale, so maybe that is the reason behind the boiling… to rid the bacon of the smoky flavour?

  27. beth

    deb! I am in the middle of making this and very excited for the results. The one thing that is befuddling me a liiiiiitle bit and making me feel blind are these words: “I know that steeping more than a dozen baby onions in boiling then freezing water, peeling them, browning them in butter and then braising them for 40 minutes in beef stock sounds like a miserable process, but I promise you it’s worth your time. ”

    I don’t see where this connects to the recipe! What am I missing!! In any case I am not too worried… just curious.

  28. Jamie Hein

    I just made this tonight, but I used a yellow onion instead of the small onions, and I kept it the consistency of a soup since my friend wanted soup. As a soup I think it was way too rich, it tasted good but too rich for me. The mushrooms were so good!

  29. Monica

    This recipe looks (like all the others) absolutely amazing! Two questions: how much time should a smart cook allow to make this? And, if an ambitious cook wanted to make this for a dinner party of 10-12 people, are there any recommendations you’d make for doubling or increasing the recipe?

  30. MCC

    Am I the only one who found the color (a deep purple thanks to the wine/beef broth) unappetizing? My husband and I liked the flavors of the dish but the aesthetics were hard to get beyond. I googled pics of Coq Au Vin, most look like ours did, so perhaps we are the only ones bothered by it. Anyways, it was good but labor intensive and a little too rich for us. Won’t make it again, sorry Julia. (great blog by the way)

  31. I have an appartment in paris with a proper kitchen…. could you just fly in and stay here and cook me coq au vin? haha. Number one problem with living in paris as a student? affording rent and food. I love cooking… i just can’t afford meat.

    1. deb

      If you cannot afford meat, you should make Mushroom Bourguignon. Similar flavors, meat-free! I would be HAPPY to fly to Paris. But I probably would be too busy eating those potatoes that drip under the rotisserie chickens they sell to-go to cook. :)

  32. Mamaof4

    I am in the process of making this now!! Read the recipe but had no picture so I looked it up online while I am waiting for it to finish… You encourage my enthusiasm!! hahaa…. Hope the family likes it, I already know I will.

  33. Meredith

    I too suspected that the bacon boiling step could be skipped, and did it the second time around (with beef bourguignon). I wouldn’t do it again, though, I found the smokiness of American bacon overpowers the elegant winey beefiness of the original! I’m sure it depends on what brand of bacon you use, though. I used homemade unboiled bacon the next time and it was perfect.

  34. Jillian

    I am making this for a hurricane-y weekend in NY, I’ve made the bourgingon before – perfection – but I forgot the pearl onions for the coq au vin in my haste and I decided regular onions would do if I cut them in thick rings… but now, now I’m tempted to drive in the rain for pearl onions.

  35. Mollie

    I think it’s funny that reading ‘My Life in France’ caused you to go on a Julia cooking kick. I’m just about finished reading it, and I looked this up on your site for the same reason! I also bought four onion soup crocks yesterday to broil in the oven :)

  36. Linky

    I just finished watching the old episode of The French Chef in which she makes Coq au Vin. She said, if you did not boil the bacon first, that the dish would taste too “bacony” and that it was supposed to taste like chicken.

  37. macy

    fyi: i used frozen pearl onions for this from trader joes. i was worried that they might not brown properly since i thought they would be wet compared to a fresh onion. however i made sure to thaw them completely and let them sit on a rack to dry. they browned up quite nicely.

    i can’t speak to the end product flavor yet, as i’m in the chicken cooking stage of this recipe now and havent yet devoured. that comes tomorrow.

    Jina- im using my le creuset dutch oven as a 10 inch casserole.

  38. A few years ago, I added mission figs. I’ve never looked back. I’m curious if you’ve ever made additions like that to your coq au vin. I was amazed at the way the figs meld in, kind of taking it to another, unexpected level.

    (Also, thanks for the oatmeal raisin walnut cookie recipe. They gave my partner and I a quick, easy, elegant end to our day yesterday!)

  39. Pam

    I just completed cooking this wonderful recipe for my friend Jean’s 50th Birthday party…it tastes so wonderful, I can’t wait to serve it! I did not boil the bacon, as others here have noted, ours here in the US is not as salty. When I first looked at the onion recipe, the 40 minutes seemed like forever to me…but it was well worth the time. This will be a keeper!

  40. Virginia

    How timeless, both your notes and the comments that ensued and of course Julia and her recipes — and her also timeless wit. I just made this recipe a week ago — having found your site tonight, i’m thinking I’ll make it again for a party next week! (Double the onions and mushrooms, i’m always glad I did, always sorry I didn’t make even more!)

  41. Paul

    While I am all for simplifying a recipe, especially a complex Julia Child recipe, :), having made her Coq au Vin many times, I can say the reason for boiling the bacon is to remove some of the overly smoky flavour that American bacon has. Of course some people like more smoky than less, but the boiling does help temper this.

  42. Flo

    Hey, i just discoverd in a classic coq au vin recipe by paul bocuse the infamous boiling-the-bacon step. apparently its not uncommon in french couisine.

  43. Molly

    My husband always loves coq au vin when he orders it at restaurants, but he hates mushrooms so he just picks around them. Do you think this recipe would be okay if I left out the mushrooms? Or do you have a suggestion for something I could substitute for the mushrooms? I’d love to make it for a special Valentine’s Dinner. Also, do you have any suggestions for side dishes or desserts that would work well with this? Thank you!

    1. deb

      Molly — Just skip the mushrooms. I might make this with a light potato gratin (sorry, nauseating photos but I do make this all of the time, usually a hodge-podge of potatoes with some parmesan or gruyere with salt/pepper sprinkled between each layer, just a little, then a mixture of milk and cream poured in until it’s at half the height of the potatoes; yes, that recipe needs an update) or roasted potatoes, and if you’d like to stay French-ish, this baked spinach too.

  44. Laurel

    I don’t have a 10″ casserole, and I’m a little confused by the whole thing… The dish is cooked entirely on the stovetop, right? Would it be possible to make this recipe in a large pot, or do I really need to find a stove-safe casserole dish?

  45. Deneene

    Hi! I am interested in making this for my French inspired Christmas this year. Is it possible to make this in advance? I wasn’t sure if it would taste the same! Thanks

  46. Andrea

    Made this last night – it was fantastic. I also oversalted the chicken not realizing that the salt pork I used was so salty, but it still came out wonderfully. I served with some plain brown rice to help with the salt. Also, I did not boil the bacon – I used an idea from another recipe I found – I simmered the pork in 1/4 cup of water until the water was gone and then browned up the salt pork. Also, once I reduced the sauce it had perfect thickness, so I skipped the butter and flour. I will be making this again – it’s a perfect dinner party dish because you can prepare it in advance and finalize for the table in about 10 minutes. Bravo! Thanks for posting this – I have only had coq au vin once before and didn’t like it. I always wanted to try it because it’s such a French staple it really can’t be a bad dish. It’s like beef bourguignon but it’s chicken!

  47. Thefoxwithnosocks

    OMG. This is life altering chicken. I made this for Easter dinner for 2 friends and myself, and wow. I know that Julia should have been enough to entice me into going down the road of insanity, but it took you, Deb, to make me feel like I could attempt this feat in my own kitchen. I didn’t have cognac so I used Jack Daniels, and my wine guy suggested I use a tempranillo instead of the other wines listed, which makes me start thinking. How reliant is the finished dish’s flavor on the original flavors of the alcohols? For instance: I find that I don’t enjoy drinking Chianti and Brandy makes me cry because it is so strong. If I had chosen a Chianti that I hated and used brandy instead of whiskey, would that have altered the flavor such that instead of refusing to share leftovers I would have ended with a pot of tears on top of the inedible chicken? Do you have any thoughts, Deb? If I were to make this again, how closely should I repeat myself? If I have to buy a case of wine so I know I can have life altering chicken in my future, I will. Life altering chicken is worth pre-buying a case of wine.

  48. deb

    Thefoxwithnosocks — Wait, were the results inedible? I’m sorry if that was the case. From there, I can help with your other questions.

  49. Thefoxwithnosocks

    Ooops sorry for confusing you, it was amazing. SO. VERY. AMAZING. I’m just wondering how to ensure I make it amazing on round 2 and 3 and so forth.

    Will I need to sub Jack Daniels again and use the same brand of wine? (I don’t cook much with wine/alcohol only beer for beer bread and if I use a beer I dislike, I end up not liking the finished bread.)

    I’m wondering if the coc au vin- will have a seriously different flavor if I choose a malbec or chianti in round 2 instead of the tempranillo I actually used for round 1.

    Does this make more sense than the last post? I hope. If not let me know, didn’t mean for the last post to be so confusing.

  50. Golda

    My boyfriend made this for me as a surprise last week for our anniversary, and then he proposed! Of course I said yes – the coq au vin was delicious :) Thank you Julia, and thank you Deb!

  51. Stacey

    1. This version looks amazing, and also less work than what I just made on the lovely Monday off.
    2. If you have not yet tried it (as somehow, I had not, despite a multi-decades love affair with French food), I cannot say enough about the Alsatian take on this dish: Coq au Riesling, served with spatzle. One of DC’s most-lauded restaurants has this as a weekly special, and I knew after my first bite than I had to try making it.
    This food writer breaks down several variations in a way that reminded me of your recipes, and while it took a LOT of work, it came out beautifully. Even enough wine leftover for a small glass each.

  52. Gabrielle

    This looks amazing, trying it tonight! I am wondering if it’s okay to shipmate cognac altogether? Forgot to get some. Thanks!!!

  53. Klara

    Hi Deb,
    Thank you for taking the time to post this, I made the delicious dish weeks ago for 2 and am so excited to make it again this weekend but for 7 people! Do you have any suggestions for the best way to reheat it? I’ve never made a meal ahead before and am nervous about getting it right so it’s edible the next day. Would you warm it in the oven or on stovetop? Thank you so much!

    1. Christopher Eney

      I know it’s a bit late, but maybe next time you could make it in the morning, and then just use the reheat instructions at the bottom of the chicken instructions.

  54. Michael

    Julia tried to elevate the lowly provincale peasant recipe of braised rooster to haute Cuisine, and to good effect. Still Escoffier would have continued to turn up his nose as such a de classe preparation. Screw him. Coq au vin albeit a much simpler recipe, is still one of my mainstays. Those onions tho!

  55. I made this for some friends this weekend. It was hands down the best meal I’ve ever cooked. I’ve made this a few times before, but with different recipes – this one was AMAZING. The sauce….the depth and richness….oh and those onions….this was so good. My friends said they’ve never tasted anything like it. I modified a little, on accident. I didn’t completely evaporate the liquid from the onions, because it had started to carmelize and turn dark, so I just threw them in with the mushrooms and let them sit, about 15 minutes before they were supposed to be done. I used a Pinot Noir. I don’t know if the sauce was as thick as it should have been, but I liked it that way – barely thick. Thanks for this recipe! I’m so glad I found it.

  56. Esther

    I made this recipe just this afternoon. I didn’t put in bacon or use butter. I just tasted the sauce and its absolutely delicious. The recipe took time but wasn’t complicated. Also the house smell divine- when hubby and kids came home, each of them wanted to know: yum WHAT is that smell? My husband actually said it smells like a holiday in here.

  57. Christopher Eney

    Made it. Awesome! So I did several things different. First, I didn’t go with Julia’s suggestion of parting out a whole chicken, but neither did I use all thighs either as suggested above. I got 4 leg quarters which, after separating them I was (of course) left with four legs and four thighs. When it came to the oignons glacés a brun, the recipe gives five options for cooking liquid. What I opted for was 1/4 cup beef stock and 1/4 cup Guinness. Mon Dieu but did they turned out amazing! Finally, the recipe calls for brown chicken stock. If, like me, you don’t have 3 lbs. of chicken bones laying around wanting and wishing to be made into stock (always homemade stock, if possible and time allows), you can fake it. What I did was take a box (4 cups) of reduced sodium organic chicken stock. Pour that into a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Then you toss in a bay leaf, a sprig or two of fresh thyme, and a few peppercorns and microwave 3 minutes or so, until warm. Take it out of the microwave and stir in a half teaspoon of low sodium beef base (not bullion, but the jarred beef base in paste form) until dissolved. Then continue to microwave until hot, 3-5 minutes or more depending on the wattage of your microwave. Now I’ve seen some discussion about the topic of the bacon. Julia’s original calls for lardons. Here in the states the equivalent is fatback, which is relatively fairly easy to find (Kunzler puts out 2 lb. packages). I did do the simmer because they were thickly encrusted with salt. My last suggestion would be, if you’re planning ahead for authenticity try to get European butter (or US salted butter). European butter has a higher milk fat content and is salted. Unsalted butter is an American thing.

  58. Richard

    The bacon in water thing is a technique I’ve seen done in some Euro joints. The thinking is you simmer the bacon ( what we call pork belly or salt pork ) in water to leach some of the fat out of it. Then simmer until the water is gone and the oil then sautes the bacon. I’m not sure why it would be done if lardons were the purpose for the bacon. If you’re going to cut off the skin just fillet some of the SQ fat off it and put it in the pan you’re going to brown the bacon in. Render it and then add the bacon.

  59. Emma

    Did you use bone-in skin-on chicken chicken thighs? Do you serve it by giving each person a chicken thigh with some of the other parts of the dish and they remove the bone themselves?

    Can’t wait to make this for Christmas Eve!