Julia Child’s Coq au Vin

Julia Child's Coq au VinWelcome to three of the countdown to Julia Child’s 100th birthday! Each week leading up to August 15th, a Julia Child recipe is being released to participating bloggers. Last week we made chocolate mousse, this week coq au vin. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for beef bourguignon.

I have to (humbly) admit that I thought I knew my way around a coq au vin. We had it on the menu at the Supper Club during April and made it again last week for quests upon special request. I think today it might have turned out the best.

Julia Child's Coq au Vin

I need to know, do you also find it impossible to follow a recipe? I can’t seem to ever get more than one step in before switching things and altering things to my own liking. I know Julia Child was an expert in French cooking and I am, well umm, not exactly an expert. At all. I still couldn’t help myself from tinkering with the recipe.

I’ve given you both the original recipe and the one used for the coq au vin in the photos here. Use hers, use mine, take bits from each or make up your own. Or check out A Snippet of Thyme’s version, it’s delicious.

Julia Child's Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Serves 1-2 people (can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled)

  • 3-4 pieces of chicken thighs or drumsticks with skin on
  • 3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 1 small handful pearl onions or shallots, skins removed
  • 1 large handful small button mushrooms
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan (cast iron works perfect) cook the bacon over medium heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan
  2. Dry chicken thoroughly and add to pan skin side down. Gently move chicken around to ensure that the skin does’t stick. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from pan and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan.
  3. Add carrots, onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until everything starts to brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put back in pan skin side up. Arrange carrots, onions, mushrooms, chopped tomato, garlic and bacon around the chicken. Pour over the wine and chicken broth.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes and a salad.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Julia Child's Coq au Vin
The original recipe.
The Endless Meal - Serves: 4
  • 2½ - 3 pounds frying chicken parts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cups sliced onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, pureed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups young red wine (zinfandel, Macon or Chianti)
  • 1 or more cups chicken stock
  • Beurre manie (1½ tablespoons each flour and softened butter, worked into a paste)
  • Fresh parsley sprigs
  1. Dry the chicken thoroughly and brown it in the hot oil and butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside, leaving fat in the pan.
  2. Stir the onions into the pan and sauté over moderate heat until fairly tender, then raise heat and brown lightly. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl to remove excess fat.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and return it to the pan. Add browned onion, garlic, bay, thyme, and tomato. Pour in wine and enough stock to barely cover ingredients. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken to a side dish and spoon off excess fat from the sauce. Pour the juices and the onions into a saucepan and taste very carefully for strength and seasoning. Boil down rapidly if it needs strength, adding more seasonings if you think them necessary.
  5. Off the heat whisk in the beurre manie to make a lightly thickened sauce. Bring briefly to a simmer.
  6. Add the chicken to a casserole and baste with sauce and onions.
Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.





About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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    • says

      Hey Daniel,

      I’ve never tried rooster before but now I really want to. I’m not even sure where to buy rooster from but I’m going to keep my eye open for one!

  1. BWT says

    When you say “adapted from ‘The Way to Cook'” you neglect to mention that you’ve picked and choosed which of Julia Child’s ingredients to include. You completely omitted the lardons, the brandy, and mushrooms? Brave man. Messing ar0und with Julia from beyond the grave. That’s some bad appetit karma!

    • says

      Julia Child was an excellent chef and an iconic tv persona. But recipes, including hers, change and develop over time. This is a good thing! Can you imagine how boring food would be if we simply at the same dishes, prepared the same way, year after year? All recipes (in my opinion) are simply a guideline, a starting point from which to create. I really can’t imagine any chef, including Julia, would want a world where food stopped being creative

  2. says

    This looks delicious! I love cooking, but for some reason I always stay away from recipes with a lot of ingredients and so many steps. I too find it very hard to follow recipes, but I guess I can listen to Julia Child, and start now.
    Love everything about your dish, though! the carrots, the super roasted chicken skin and specially those cherry tomatoes on the vine at the bac of the plate!

    • Kristen says

      I definitely recommend making the coq au vin, despite the long list of ingredients. Once you’ve done it once you’ll find it pretty easy!

  3. says

    Ive actually let the chicken sit in red wine for a day before doing similar steps you’ve listed. More red wine flavor that way.

    • Kristen says

      Hey Doug,

      I was also letting it marinate for 24 hours when it was on the menu at the supper club last month. To be honest though I didn’t notice any less flavour the way I made it this time around. :)

  4. says

    This looks delicious. I’m tempted to join the challenge myself but…I’ll just have to follow what everyone makes. Great pictures!

    • Kristen says

      Hey Sara,

      You should challenge yourself to make her meals! I’ll be honest, it’s actually not much of a challenge. The two that I’ve made so far have been really easy; they just sound complicated and fancy :)


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