Coq au Vin Recipe

This coq au vin recipe from Julia Child, despite what you may think, is easy as can be. You can even make it in the slow cooker with equally spectacular results.

Coq au Vin Recipe

Coq au vin didn’t originate on the 1960s TV show “The French Chef” but that’s where Julia Child made good on Herbert Hoover’s promise of a ”chicken in every pot.” She translated the original coq au vin into the simple dish that it currently is, made with mushrooms, onions, bacon, red wine, and (natch) chicken. Since then, it has been recreated in millions of kitchens thanks to Julia.

Many versions of coq au vin floating around when Madame Child was learning to cook in Paris were based on ancient recipes that called for a rooster or cock (coq) well past his crowing days. A rooster who’s no longer cock of the walk has flesh that’s incredibly flavorful. The cockscomb, feet, head, and kidneys were tossed in for good measure, too. Blood was also added to the pot for a little thickening power.

Julia knew (actually, I’m assuming she knew this, I don’t actually know this for certain, but I like the familiarity of calling her “Julia” and so I’m going with it) that getting an old rooster and a cup o’ blood ain’t exactly easy. So she tried to squeeze as much flavor as possible into this recipe, published in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, as well as the rendition published in the redux years later. She smartly calls for brown chicken stock, which is a homemade stock made more robust in taste and color by first searing the raw chicken pieces before gently simmering them for hours. It’s a simple and easy way of adding extra depth and complexity to whatever contains it. Considering you’ll be sitting down to a rooster-less, bloodless coq au vin, it’s still pretty darn tasty. This recipe has been updated. Originally published February 18, 2010.David Leite

How To Make Authentic French Coq Au Vin

With all due respect to the inimitable Julia Child, that doyenne of all things French, there are more authentic versions of coq au vin than her recipe [Editor’s Note: Which David, in turn, has further simplified and streamlined in his version below]. But the beauty of Julia was that she was especially conscious of translating fussy French recipes for American masses in need of manageable cooking techniques. As such, a couple common, though not compulsory, flavor-making steps were omitted in the making of her version of the French classic. You can consider incorporating them back into your coq au vin routine to imbue it with layer after layer of complexity. First, uncork that bottle of red and douse the bird, allowing it to take an overnight bath in the fridge to infuse the meat with a subtle but certain depth of flavor—not to mention a slightly freakish maroon hue. Drain the chicken then pat it dry and continue with the searing, reserving the wine to use during cooking. Another easy trick? Sauté those teensy pearl onions in the rendered bacon drippings prior to adding them to the stew for what we think are obvious reasons. Same goes with the mushrooms. And never, ever serve the stew straightaway from the stovetop; rather, let it cool and then refrigerate it ’till the next day, skimming any fat from the surface and heating the coq au vin gently—and we do mean gently—over low heat until warmed through. And you thought you didn’t know how to speak French.

Special Equipment: Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)

Coq au Vin Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/2 cup lardons (or very thickly sliced bacon), cut into 1/4- by 1 1/2-inch strips (optional)
  • 2 or more tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into parts (or all one kind of part), thoroughly dried
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 20 pearl onions, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or pinot noir
  • About 2 cups homemade chicken stock, or beef stock, preferably brown chicken stock (see headnote above)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
  • About 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, and quartered


  • 1. To make the coq au vin in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.

    To make the coq au vin on your stovetop, pour enough oil in a large pot to reach a depth of 1/8 inch if you’re not using lardons or bacon. If you are using lardons or bacon, toss them in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the lardons or bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
  • 2. Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac or Armagnac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.
  • 3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan and then nestle the onions around the chicken. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.
  • 4. Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken and onions so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • 5. Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the lardons or bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Grab some tongs and transfer the chicken pieces to the plate when they’re done. Continue to cook the rest of the chicken a few minutes longer. If the onions are not quite tender, continue cooking them in the sauce, then return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.

Slow Cooker Variation

  • Yes, you can make Julia Child’s coq au vin recipe in a slow cooker. Just understand that the complexity of this French classic relies in large part on the caramelization that comes from searing or sautéing various ingredients in a hot skillet prior to jumbling them all together to simmer. Making coq au vin in a slow cooker still turns out a lovely and worthwhile stew, albeit one with just slightly less depth of flavor. There are almost as many ways to adapt this recipe for the slow cooker as there are cooks and slow cookers. We opted for the following approach, which worked swell. If using the lardons (or bacon), follow step 1 of the instructions above. Place the lardons (or bacon) and their drippings in the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients except for the oil and the flour, using only 1 cup stock (not 2 cups as instructed above). Cook on medium heat for 5 1/2 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken to a platter or a serving dish. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in the flour, and cook until it forms a paste and just begins to turn brown at the edges. Stirring constantly, very slowly strain the liquid from the slow cooker into the saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to a consistency that’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer the onions to the platter or dish with the chickens and discard the bay leaf. Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and onions.

    [Editor’s Note: Bear in mind, no two slow cookers are exactly alike, just as no two cooks are exactly alike. This slow-cooker approach worked really, really well for us, although if you have a different slow cooker with certain quirks with which you’re intimately familiar, you may want to tweak the cooking technique accordingly. And, natch, we’d love if you’d share it with us in a comment below.] Curious to hear more about working magic with your slow cooker? Peruse our entire selection of slow cooker recipes.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Jackie G.

Apr 25, 2016

Wonderful recipe, Julia! Great layers and depth of flavors. I made this using 9 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. I seasoned the thighs with salt and pepper before browning them in a Dutch oven because that seemed to make more sense than seasoning them afterward. After browning the chicken thighs in batches, I browned the pearl onions in the bacon grease mixed with the fat from the chicken thighs. There was too much chicken fat left in the pot, as well as a charred buildup, so we cleaned the pan before adding the Armagnac, igniting it, and proceeding with the recipe. I used 2 cups Syrah for the red wine, since Syrah is one of the grapes used in Côtes du Rhône. When it came to finally simmering the chicken, the thighs were done after 20 minutes. The onions were not quite done at this point, so I removed the chicken, added the mushrooms, and simmered for about 3 to 4 minutes more. I allowed everything to cool down, put the chicken back into the pot, and put the pot into the refrigerator. The next day I took the pot out a couple of hours before dinner to let everything come up to room temperature before reheating. There was no congealed fat on the surface of the stew. I think that cleaning out the pot after browning the chicken and the onions was the way to go. I let everything warm up very, very slowly on a simmer setting. I made mashed potatoes using a ricer so that they were extremely silky and creamy. The coq au vin served over the mashed potatoes was, in a word, succulent. By the way, I added more mushrooms and pearl onions than the recipe called for, and we hungered for even more. This was a beautiful dish served with multi-colored baby carrots. We had an Oregon medium-bodied pinot with this dish. It was a good choice, because it let the coq au vin shine on its own. A bigger wine would've overpowered it.

Testers Choice
Krista Winjum

Apr 25, 2016

This streamlined version of coq au vin eliminates the overnight marinating of the chicken. But you won’t miss it because this version is wonderful. It has all of the classic flavors—lardons, herbs, red wine, mushrooms, and onions—but it’s so easy to make. I served it with egg noodles and a salad, and my guests nearly licked their plates, they loved it so much.

Testers Choice
Sita Krishnaswamy

Apr 25, 2016

I adapted this coq au vin recipe for a slow cooker. I put all the ingredients except the olive oil and the flour in the slow cooker and cooked it on medium heat for 6 hours. I omitted the bacon/lardons. I used the full 2 cups wine but only 1 cup broth. I used bone-in skin-on chicken legs and thighs (about 4 pounds). When the chicken was tender, I transferred it to a bowl, heated the olive oil in a pot, added the flour and cooked it, and stirred in the entire amount of liquid from the slow cooker and reduced it so that it was thick enough to coat the chicken. The chicken was incredibly juicy, tender, and flavorful. I could perhaps have reduced the cooking time to about 5 1/2 hours and been just fine. This worked really well for me.

  1. A.M. says:

    This is not too hard to make and great for company! We served it over medium egg noodles and crunchy French bread for dipping into the extra sauce. Our guests loved it.

  2. T.L. says:

    Very flavorful dish. We loved it.

  3. M.M. says:

    Fun to make, impressive to watch, and possibly the best tasting coq au vin I’ve had the extreme pleasure of tasting. I said a prayer of thanksgiving for Julia Child when I tasted this.

  4. M.M. says:

    Simple, yet delicious. Easy to make after work. And the bonus: Leftovers taste better a day or two later.

  5. P.B. says:

    I have used this recipe several times and have had rave reviews from all guests. Thanks so much.

  6. T.C. says:

    Great recipe! Need I say more?

  7. P.D. says:

    After trying several Coq Au Vin recipes, the entire family rated this one the best. We had no leftovers for a change.

  8. ruth says:

    I am poised to cook – but have a couple of questions. Can the chicken be skinless? And, as far as a heavy bottomed casserole, is this a dutch oven style? Thanks for your guidance.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      A good day to cook coq au vin, Ruth. The chicken can be skinless, although be careful to cook it very, very gently as the meat will be lacking that moisturizing barrier between it and the heat and may, as a result, turn slightly tough. What I recommend is instead using skin-on and then, if you prefer not to have the slippery skin to deal with on the plate, remove it after cooking but prior to serving. That way the fat will still impart some flavor to the sauce and can still protect the delicate meat beneath…

    • Pamela says:

      You will get more flavor if you leave the skin on, you can always remove before serving. Yes, a Dutch oven works great for this.

  9. lynnATL says:

    Made this last night using chicken thighs. Out of the world delicious. Used a WA state Merlot and whole wheat egg noodles. Yum. Thanks for sharing Julia’s recipe.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      So glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting us know


  10. Wendy Skjaeveland says:

    The only chicken breasts I can buy here are skinless. I’m not sure why they’re sold this way. Of course, I can buy a whole chicken if I want skin, but the chickens are very small here and by the time I get done doing a poor job of portioning it, there isn’t much left. In any case, the only way I can have moist chicken is to lightly flour it and fast fry it til it is light golden and then put it in the oven. I am not a cook, but I do like my chicken moist, so I’m wondering if this would work with the coq au vin recipe?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Wendy, the short answer is yes, you may. The long answer entails a question—it bone-in or boneless chicken? The former is preferable. If all you have is boneless, simply make certain to keep the chicken in large pieces so that the white meat doesn’t turn dry and tough during cooking, and be certain when simmering that you maintain a super low simmer, again to prevent things from turning dry and tough and ugly. An alternative, of course, is to use all dark-meat chicken, which is perfectly acceptable as far as we’re concerned, though I’m not so certain any non-leg folks at your table will consider this substitution so favorably. At any rate, let us know what you choose to do….

  11. Libbbie Katz says:

    I would love to make this recipe but cannot use bacon or pork of any kind. Is this ingredient essential to the taste of the finished product? Is there a substitute for the bacon flavor? Thank you.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi, Libbie. You absolutely, 100% don’t need the bacon to this dish. It can be made quite successfully without it. If you add just a little bit of very good chicken or beef stock (or demi-glaze), it will give extra depth to the dish. If you’re determined to have some kind of bacon substitute, you can try to use lamb bacon or even vegetarian bacon. But, honestly, I say, why bother?!

  12. Teresa says:

    I have to ask: Does flambeing the cognac ultimately add anything to the flavor? I always thought that was more of a show piece.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Teresa, yes, it is a showy presentation but ultimately the intense heat produces a complex flavor in the alcohol that can’t be achieved through normal cooking.

  13. Taunaja Robinson says:

    I tried this a few weeks ago after seeing it on American Horror Story….lol It is delicious!! I followed the directions up until step 5. I finished cooking it in a slow cooker for about 2 hours (something I got from another coq au vin recipe) and it was amazing. Even better the second day!

    • David Leite says:

      Taunaja, I hear you. I’m all for second-day eating of this kind of dish. Sometimes I purposely make it a day or two ahead and let it sit in the fridge then reheat it when it times to serve. Same with daube recipes. I cook those babies, then heat and reheat several times over the course of a few days before serving. Ah-ma-zing.

  14. Rachel says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you can substitute the cognac with something else? Would brandy be ok?

  15. Joe Kaiser says:


    I’m considering trying this recipe and was wondering about the cognac step. Is the chicken still in the pan at this point, or have I removed it after doing the browning?



    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Joe, the chicken remains in the skillet and is, indeed, present for the flaming. Do let us know if you give the recipe a twirl, as we’re curious to hear what you think.

      • Joe Kaiser says:

        Hi, I gave it a twirl yesterday and it was very good. I made it for 20 people, so I doubled the recipe for one pot and then made two single other pots, one the day before and one the day of dinner. The chicken loses its integrity when you have to stir and mix a double batch. It had great flavor (I left the double batch and the first batch to rest overnight, I think this is a required step for us.) I ended up deboning the chicken (all thighs) and putting it back in the pot and serving it like a very thick soup.

        The single batch I made the day of dinner was also good but not as rich because it didn’t get to sit overnight. The chicken kept its integrity. I had to thicken the sauce with 1:1 tbs butter to flour mixture. The flaming for the single batch was fun but my double batch tasted more like alcohol because I was unsuccessful in flaming it. It cooked off sufficiently, such that I don’t think people really noticed. Next time I’m making it for a crowd this size I’m likely to make a single batch at a time and layer two or three batches together and see if I can maintain the chicken’s integrity.

        In comparison to the Alton Brown recipe, I like this better. It doesn’t have the freakish purple color, it’s easier to put together, and the flavor is just as good. I think it needs to sit overnight to be really good, though it’s not necessary if you’re just hungry and want to eat now. This is a great recipe and is greeted with excitement whenever I make it. I serve it over mashed potatoes, which are wildly popular around here, i.e. with my children and nieces and nephews, all ages 7 to 25.



        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Joe, thanks so much for your terrifically insightful comments. And I am so with you on not being keen on that freakish purple color. As for the flaming, it’s remarkable how much alcohol burns off in such a short time, isn’t it? And last thing, I think you’re a wise man for relying on mashed potatoes, especially given your crowd. Job well done.

  16. Andrass9 says:

    The recipe sounds good. I just got a small coq (appr. 3 pounds) I plan to cook saturday (or maybe Friday, so it can sit one day in the fridge :). My guests needs special attention to the side dish. I was considering steamed carrots and green peas. Is it all right? Maybe I can have some steamed rice and a slice of bread to get the juice.

  17. Mary says:

    It appears to me that the picture of this coq au vin recipe shows carrots. Your recipe doesn’t mention carrots. Should there be carrots in this recipe and if so when would I add them?



    • David Leite says:

      Hello, Mary. Well, you’ve got a good eye and you’ve have caught me with my proverbial pants down! The photo is of a more elaborate coq au vin, based on Julia’s. In it the onions are seared along with the carrots until nicely caramelized, and added later in the recipe. The dish also has a tablespoon of chicken blood, which makes the sauce darker and thicker.

      But to keep with this version, add three medium carrots cut into chunks to the pot in step 3, along with the onions.

  18. ashley0612 says:

    Gah. David. I severely overcooked the chicken in the crocker. Totally my fault, distracted by kids, et al. Also, my crocker only does Hi and Lo, and Lo is a rolling simmer. On top of that: killed the lid to my Dutch oven in a move and haven’t been able to choose a suitable replacement. But I did brown everything before simmering, and I thought it was delish. Replacement ideas? Also, used Kitchen Bouquet (a no no?) to color my gravy a touch and forgot there was no drip-cap on the bottle. Yeah.

    • David Leite says:

      Well, Ashley, the fact that it even tasted good is a minor miracle! Sounds like you were navigating the nine circles of hell. So here goes:

      1. You need a replacement slow cooker. One that lets you roast, sauté, steam, and cook. This is the baby I bought.

      2. Browning is great. Were there some nice stuck on bits in the pan? Than would have helped the color of the sauce. And with a newer slow cooker, you can sear right in the cooker.

      3. Is Kitchen Bouquet a no-no? Yes-Yes. If you feel you need a little oomph to your sauce, I’d suggest some chicken demi-glace. I got mine at William-Sonoma. Don’t worry, a little goes a long, long way. Still working on my first jar, and I’ve had it for about a year.

  19. Aldo says:

    I want to take a stab at the classic French Coq au Vin, however I have two issues; One, I HATE mushrooms! Two, I love skinless, boneless chicken breast. As the recipe goes, can I simply eliminate the mushrooms and use boneless breasts and follow everything else as directed?

    • David Leite says:

      Aldo, certainly you can do that. Recipes are made to be tailored. Just keep in mind that without the mushrooms and dark meat, it won’t taste the exactly same, and the breast will be drier without the skin to protect it. If you make, drop me a line and tell me how you liked it.

  20. ruthie says:

    You know, when I was growing up my mom made Chicken Fricasee at least a couple times a month. Every time the family got together, someone wanted her to bring that (or her homemade raviolis). I grew up with it, but it wasn’t until we found Julia that I, at last, realized that Chicken Fricasee and Coq au Vin were the same thing! ;)

    I can tell you that it gave me a whole new respect for my mom’s cooking prowess, and she was already right up there next to, well… So simple and so delicious and so homey, all at the same time. Next chicken I get, I’m trying this version—I know my mom’s had no tomato paste because we, as a family, can’t handle the stuff, but otherwise it’s a go.

    Thanks once again for reminding us what we love.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re so very welcome, ruthie. May this recipe make you think of your mom and Julia and all things good.

  21. Lise Neer says:

    I grew up with The French Chef; through our portable BW she taught and inspired my love of cooking. Have made this recipe before and it is worth the extra time & effort!

    • David Leite says:

      Lisa, hear, hear. I used to rush home from school to watch her in the afternoon in the ’70s. She’s amazing to watch and to learn from. I had the joy of interviewing her once. What a delight.

  22. joan says:

    I have not had a chance to read the many comments so the answer to my question may be there, but can this be done in a 6-qt slow cooker? Thank you!

    • David Leite says:

      joan, yes, the recipe can be made in a slow cooker. If you look above, you’ll see the variation. A 6-quart cooker should be able to accommodate the bird and veggies.

  23. joan says:

    Thank you. I did find the comment about your 7 qt. multi function slow cooker. Since I may use skinless boneless chicken breasts and or thighs (8 to 12 pieces to serve 8) I may do it in my 6 qt le creuset dutch oven (browning in stages) to keep an eye on it so the skinless pieces won’t get overdone. I probably will leave carrots out to make more room. Do you think this will work out?

    • David Leite says:

      Joan, I think it will. There will be less flavor because the chicken is skinless and boneless. I’d suggest using chicken with skin and bone and then removing them after the dish is done. The meat will be falling apart tender, so it will be easy. There is so much flavor with the bones!

      • joan says:

        I guess I will do as you suggest. We are having a solve the murder game NY party and it will require extra time in the kitchen to remove the skin and bones. But I just realized that I will be making it ahead and can remove the bones and skin then so when I rewarm it on the day of the party that chore will be done! Do you have any tips about serving? Is it okay to serve on a plate or should it be served in a pasta bowl?

  24. Norman Coutts says:

    Great recipe. Tasted fabulous, but there was no where in the instructions as to when to add the mushrooms. They were forgotten so I added them with the wine, bacon and chicken stock. It all seemed to work!

    • David Leite says:

      Hello, Norman. The instructions to add the mushrooms is in step 5. But what really matters is the taste! And so glad you enjoyed it.

  25. Carol says:

    Will this recipe work out for a whole bird, and for a genuine rooster? I have three of those in my freezer.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Carol, the bird needs to be cut up, as that’s how coq au vin is made. So A whole bird won’t work as well, to my thinking. And you can use the rooster (that was the bird called for in the original recipes), as long as it’s cut up and weighs between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds. You might have to simmer it longer because the meat may be tougher.

  26. Marlene Hess says:

    I am upset because I wanted to print out the actual recipe. Instead I got 24 pages that were printed out with all the questions and answers as well. What a waste of paper and my color cartridges.–Marlene from Michigan

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Marlene, I’m sorry that you’re upset. If you click the printer icon at the top of the page or the “Print this recipe” to the right of the ingredients list, you’ll see a print preview page. You can control how much information you want printed: the full post or just the recipe; with or without images; and with or without comments. If you choose just the recipe, it’s a tidy 2 pages. Hope this helps.

  27. Laureen says:

    I am going to make this tomorrow for a party for 9 the next evening. Do you recommend any particular type of chicken for optimal taste/texture? How many pieces would you recommend? Also, I see that doubling the batch and cooking in a crock pot may have chicken integrity and flavor issues. How would you recommend I cook it? Twice in single batches up to step 5 then combine in one crockpot?

  28. Sita Krishnaswamy says:

    Hi laureen

    Really excited that you chose this recipe for a large dinner party. It is definitely going to make a great impression.

    I tested this recipe for the slow cooker. I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs (4 lbs). You can use a whole chicken, all cut up, but for the uniformity of cooking & serving you may want to consider using all the same kind of parts. I used organic free range chicken. It was not watery and I like the texture of organic chicken. You can use any chicken that you would for a regular recipe.

    Since you are going to make a double batch, I would definitely make two separate batches and then combine it in one crock pot.

    If you are going to borrow a crock pot for the second batch, make sure the dimensions are the same as yours and also and make sure it has a medium setting. Some crock pots do not have that. I would still keep an eye on the timing on the borrowed crock pot just to be safe.

    Good luck with this versatile recipe. It is definitely worth all the effort. Would you please report back to us as to how you made out. Enquiring minds would like to know

    If you have any other question while prepping, cooking, give us a shout. Bon appetit.

    • Laureen says:

      Thanks for the tips. Someone above mentioned that cooking dark and white meat together helps lend more flavor and not dry out the white meat. If I have 8 chicken breasts, 4 legs+thigh, 4 drumsticks, how would you suggest I divide them to cook in my two pots? Also I plan to cook them on the stove then refridgerate them and warm them up tomorrow in my crockpot on low or the warm setting. How much time do you think it should be warmed up and at what setting?
      Appreciate your advice!

  29. Sita Krishnaswamy says:


    I would suggest that one batch consist of 4 chicken breasts two legs and thighs and two drumsticks. Cooking the dark meat with the white helps keep the white meat moist.

    As for reheating I think it will take a few hours in the slow cooker on warm to heat it thoroughly. Hard to give you number of hours as it would depend entirely on your slow cooker. I suggest you experiement warming ice cold water in the slow cooker. That will give you an idea of time it takes to heat up the liquids you might need a couple more hours to warm up the chicken pieces thoroughly.

    I would not use the low setting for fear of over cooking the chicken. Hope this helps. Let us know how you make out. Sita

  30. Laureen says:

    Sita – Great minds think alike! It was a fabulous and fun Bastille Day dinner and the coq au vin was tres delicieux!
    Tips for future chefs:
    1. Soaking the chicken in the red wine overnight on Day 1 evening is good. However, be sure to turn once in a while because the parts that were resting on another piece were not as red so the chicken was blotchy red and white.
    2. I made it in two batches, flambed cognac and all. However, the first batch I shook (nerves!) and some cognac didn’t make it into the pot and that batch was not as tasty. I’d say it makes a noticeable difference in flavor.
    3. I made it on Day 2 afternoon and refrigerated the two separate pots. The gravy was too thin but I left it as is.
    4. Day 3 afternoon I removed the congealed fat on top and removed all the chicken from the two pots into the crockpot with some sauce. I had warmed the crockpot to low setting first. I kept the two pots with sauces in them and brought to a high simmer to reduce which worked on one pot but not the other to which I added another bit of flour. You have to time it so that the sauce is just the right consistency and hot at the time you want to serve your guests so its better to be a bit thinner if you have to heat up. I took the chicken out of the crockpot rolled it around in the sauce, placed it on a platter and let the guests serve themselves. I ladled the sauce into a bowl and passed that.
    5. I served a salad as first course, warm French bread, and it was a big hit.
    6. Day 4 I served leftovers to my son which I had kept in the crockpot in the fridge and warmed up on high for a short 30 mins and it was still good.
    Merci beaucoup!

  31. Annie says:

    My slow cooker only has high and low settings… How would you adjust the cooking time?

    • David Leite says:

      Annie, I would use the low setting and check the dish along the way, being mindful of the visual cues offered in the recipe. Your “low” might very well be someone else’s “medium.”

  32. jere says:

    I butchered three two-year-old free-range chickens yesterday, would they be good to use in a recipe like this? It sounds delicious.

  33. Cliff says:

    Greetings, I sure hope you can give me some hope here. I am catering for a dinner party for about 18 persons, and the hostess picked this dish. I can’t wait to try it, but they do not have a crock pot. I was wondering “if” it’s possible to bake this in the ovens. There are two. I’m going to follow all the other directions, but I’m going to be using three cut up chickens. Grain fed, all natural.

    I will be utilizing a couple of large glass roasting dishes. Is there any suggestions to assist me with this. I will pre-saute the chicken and then flambee in large skillets on the gas range. I am pre-sauteeing the onions and mushrooms separate the day before, then adding them before placing in the ovens to slow bake, covering them with aluminium foil. I will stir according to the directions. Should the oven be at about 400 F? For about how long?

    Sure hope you can assist me. Thank you,

    By the way I am serving this with a Wild Rice Pilaf w/Slivered Almonds and Pomegranates, with fresh Basil.

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Cliff, sounds like a great dinner party. If you have Dutch ovens, I’d be inclined to use them, as much for the presentation as the fact that they are perfect for cooking dishes like this. For this recipe, I think that you could use either a 325 or 350 degree oven, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours- pull out your trusty thermometer to verify doneness. Hope this helps.

      • Cliff says:

        Dear Beth,

        Unfortunately this household has no Dutch Ovens……..:(
        So I will have to use the glass Pyrex Glass rectangular baking dishes 9×12, covered with aluminum foil. I do have two ovens so that should make it easier, one oven does have a convection bake or roast option. But I think I will just stay with the regular bake oven option.
        Thanks for the oven temperatures, and the “times”, I thought 400 was a bit too high.
        I will keep you posted on how it turns out!

        Thank you very much for your time and advice, it is very much appreciated! Have a great week!
        Talk with you later!

  34. Paola Pearce says:

    So I am in possession of an actual freshly butchered rooster that was only 12 weeks old at butchering (so more tender than the old coqs used originally!). The problem is he is skinless. Do you think I could dredge pieces in a little seasoned flour and brown it to create a bit of “skin”?

  35. kevin says:

    Great results from this recipe. Remember, Julia did test the wine first before using it. How lucky we all were to have had her in our cooking lives and what a wonderful person she was! Thank you, this made our tummies smile.

  36. Mark Hayes says:

    I didn’t see in the recipe where the mushrooms were added. Do you add them raw to the braise or pre-sauté them. Also, at the risk of Julia’s wrath, dare I ask if white wine or proseccco would work ok?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Mark, I so appreciate you mentioning the mushroom omission. I’m mortified that happened and have added it to the recipe. As for risking Julia’s wrath, I dare say she would’t chastise you, but instead merely warn you that prosecco would be too sweet a sparkling wine for the rest of the ingredients. As for the white, she’d probably encourage you to experiment with it if you desired, although I would stick with a drier white such as perhaps a Bordeaux or Sauvignon blanc. Anyone else try this with white wine and care to share their experience?

  37. RabbityBuns says:

    I had to google what “natch” meant.

  38. dot says:

    I didn’t soak the chicken overnight in the wine, only for a couple of hours. Also I under seasoned the dish so when I warmed it up the second time I did season it well, which made a bit of difference. I didn’t flambe the cognac which a lot of people state makes quite a difference. This recipe is OK, but I’m not blown away with it. Aside from these things, I don’t see that I missed anything.

    • David Leite says:

      dot, I hate to say it, but the shortened marinating, the under-seasoning while cooking, and the lack of flambéeing will make this a pretty lackluster dish. By doing these, you’re adding the needed layers of spectacular flavors. Honest!

  39. Jennifer says:

    I found this in an ongoing (mostly fruitless) search for recipes to cook old roosters, as I have a freezer full of them. I was wondering, since you had such great details from the original recipe, if you might be able to point me to it? In fact, any help locating very old chicken recipes would be most welcome.

    • Jennifer says:

      Ack, not the original Julia Child. I meant to say one of the very old versions of the recipe, so I can compare cook times, etc. for my old roosters.

    • David Leite says:

      Jennifer, as I mentioned in my later comment, this isn’t her original recipe. And I don’t think you’ll find the original calling for an old rooster; that’s not what was available to Americans when Julia put out Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Have you seen this from our friends over at Epicurious?

  40. Jen says:

    I have never made Coq Au Vin before and was so surprised when it turned out so well! Thanks for posting this recipe. I think it’s the best and easiest recipe for anyone wanting to try their hand at French cooking. I cooked my CAV on the stove and used less wine and more chicken stock. The guests who ate it licked their plates clean. Fantastique!

  41. Larry Friedrichs says:

    We made Coq Au Vin tonight and it was amazing. Used Pinot Noir to marinate overnight. After browning the chicken/brandy and removing it, we added onions, celery and carrots to the pan. Followed by the mushrooms and garlic. Sprinkled the flour over the vegetables to incorporate, then added the wine, broth and herbs. And followed the recipe to its finish. Delicious.

    Had a question about the wine marinade: Is it really ok to use the wine that raw chicken marinated in? We used a fresh 2 cups of wine when it came time to add in the wine marinade instead.

    Coq au Vin

    • David Leite says:

      Larry, so glad you liked the recipe. As far as re-using a chicken marinade, that’s perfectly fine as long as 1.) it stays refrigerated (isn’t allowed to come to room temp), 2.) you bring it to a full rolling boil when cooking with it.

  42. Barbara says:

    In two weeks am giving a dinner for people. The first course will be lasagna ( pasta and sauces all home made. The desert will be tiramisu. Two questions… will five pounds of chicken thighs suffice? Carrots as a side dish?? I do thank you.

  43. Birth says:

    It seems impossible to find pearl onions here. Any suggestion for a substitute? (Actually, maybe I don’t know what pearl onions are. Tiny little white onions, right?)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Yes, exactly, tiny white onions, Birth. Some stores only seem to carry them in late fall before the holidays. You can usually find them in the freezer case yearround, though.

  44. Josee says:

    I happened to look for this recipe because i did in fact have an 70 week old rooster that i had to kill and didnt want to have to either feed to the dogs or discard altogether. His bones were so hard I could not cut the breast away with the bones, so i carved the meat off and used the back and breastbones to make the brownstock. I didnt bleed the rooster properly because i wanted him to have as swift a death as possible, so there turned out to be a fairly obvious quantity of blood present in the connective tissues of the parts that i used, but as it turns out, it was hands down the most amazing chicken stock i ever made! However as I discarded those parts i got worried, as the meat left on them was about as tender as a car tire. But I still refused to waste that 5 pound bird, so i followed the stovetop recipe up until the point of adding the red wine. After adding the wine, i then browned the mushrooms in a separate pan, added them along with sliced carrots to the pot , and put the whole thing, covered, in the oven for approximately 5 hours at 275 degrees. I tested the meat every 1.5 hours only to despair that the rubber texture was stubbornly set in. Then miraculously, at the 4th hour, the meat miraculously tenderized, falling off the bone, delicate and lean and so superbly aromatized, i couldnt believe I had actually made that. This recipe has been bookmarked and printed and will be my go to favourite for the next time I have to retire a dangerous old coq or hen!

    • David Leite says:

      Josee, well, I don’t think there has been a more ringing endorsement of the “old ways” and of Julia than this. So happy the recipe worked out!

  45. M says:

    I don’t have the time to prepare a brown chicken stock. Will it be OK to use store-bought in place? I understand the flavor may not be as rich, but will it be close if I follow everything else?

    • David Leite says:

      M, I’m more interested in you cooking than fretting! So, yes, store-bought stock will work fine in this. But get beef stock, if you and yours can eat it. It will give a deeper flavor.

  46. Laura says:

    I’m planning on making this on Saturday, but I don’t have a dutch oven. Can I use a regular stock pot?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Yes, absolutely, Laura. I don’t have a Dutch oven, either, and I use my stock pot for recipes like this all the time. Looking forward to hearing what you think of the coq au vin!

      • Laura says:

        This recipe was delicious! I’m glad I marinated the chicken overnight because it was so flavorful. My husband was really impressed.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Spectacular, Laura! So pleased to hear it worked so well. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

  47. Mirit V. says:

    D, SINCE YOU’VE MADE THIS, MIND RESPONDING? THANKS! I would like to try this recipe for a dinner party on Saturday (making it in advance, of course) and I have a few questions:

    1. My slow cooker only has a low and high setting, which one should I use and for how long?
    2. If I can’t find pearl onions, what can I use instead?
    3. What type of mushrooms work best?
    4. I have low sodium organic chicken stock and Organic beef flavoring (Better Than Bouillon low sodium beef base, gets added to water). Could I mix the two together for a “browned” chicken stock or should I only use one of these (and which one)?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Mirit, love that you are making this for a dinner party! In terms of the stock, if you wanted to have that browned chicken flavor, I would follow steps 1 and 2 for cooking on the stovetop then add your browned chicken to the slow cooker. Try looking in your freezer section for pearl onions and as far as mushrooms, it really is your choice. You could use cremini or a selection of wild mushrooms. The timing really depends on your crock pot so I would suggest checking the owners manual but generally speaking, it should be around 7 hours on low.

      • Mirit V. says:

        Thank you, Beth. I found the onions and got some baby bella mushrooms. My plan is to prepare today and reheat tomorrow. I have also marinated the chicken in Pinot Noir overnight.

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