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Chef John’s Coq au Vin

Chef John’s Coq au Vin

Are you looking to impress your dinner guests with a classic French dish? Look no further than Chef John’s Coq au Vin! This hearty and flavorful chicken stew is not only delicious but also a testament to the rich culinary history of France. In this article, we will explore the origins of Coq au Vin, Chef John’s unique twist on the recipe, and how you can recreate this iconic dish in your own kitchen.

A Taste of France

Coq au Vin, which translates to “rooster with wine,” is a traditional French dish that dates back centuries. It originated as a peasant dish, where tough roosters were marinated in red wine to tenderize the meat. The dish was typically prepared during the fall and winter months when roosters were readily available and the wine harvest was in full swing.

Over time, Coq au Vin became synonymous with French cuisine and is now considered a classic. The dish is often associated with the Burgundy region of France, where the local red wine, usually a Pinot Noir, is used in the recipe. However, variations of Coq au Vin can be found throughout the country, each with its own unique twist.

Chef John’s Twist

Chef John, a renowned culinary expert, has put his own spin on the traditional Coq au Vin recipe. He believes that the key to a truly exceptional dish lies in the quality of the ingredients. Instead of using tough roosters, he opts for tender chicken thighs, which are more readily available and easier to work with.

In addition to the chicken thighs, Chef John also adds a variety of aromatic vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and mushrooms, to enhance the flavor profile of the dish. He simmers everything together in a rich and velvety red wine sauce, resulting in a dish that is both comforting and full of depth.

Creating Coq au Vin at Home

Now that you understand the origins of Coq au Vin and Chef John’s unique twist on the recipe, it’s time to bring this delicious dish to your own kitchen. The process may seem daunting at first, but with a little patience and attention to detail, you can recreate the flavors of France in the comfort of your home.

Start by gathering all the necessary ingredients, including chicken thighs, red wine, vegetables, and herbs. The quality of the wine is crucial, as it will greatly impact the overall taste of the dish. Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get cooking!

Begin by searing the chicken thighs to develop a golden brown crust. This step not only adds flavor but also helps to lock in the juiciness of the meat. Next, sauté the vegetables until they become tender and fragrant. This will form the base of the dish and contribute to its rich flavors.

Once the vegetables are ready, deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. This step is crucial as it adds depth and complexity to the sauce. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce slightly before adding the chicken back into the pot.

Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently in the wine sauce until it becomes tender and infused with the flavors of the vegetables and wine. The result will be a dish that is succulent, flavorful, and reminiscent of the French countryside.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use white wine instead of red wine for Coq au Vin?

While red wine is traditionally used in Coq au Vin, you can certainly experiment with white wine if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the flavor profile will be different, so choose a white wine that complements the other ingredients in the dish.

2. Can I make Coq au Vin in advance?

Absolutely! In fact, Coq au Vin often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply store the stew in the refrigerator and reheat it gently before serving.

3. What can I serve with Coq au Vin?

Coq au Vin pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, crusty bread, or buttered noodles. The choice is yours!

4. Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

While chicken thighs are recommended for their tenderness and flavor, you can certainly use chicken breasts if you prefer. Just be mindful of the cooking time, as chicken breasts tend to cook faster than thighs.

5. Can I freeze Coq au Vin?

Yes, Coq au Vin freezes well. Simply transfer the stew to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stovetop.

6. What other proteins can I use in Coq au Vin?

While chicken is the traditional protein for Coq au Vin, you can experiment with other meats such as duck, rabbit, or even beef. Each protein will bring its own unique flavor to the dish.

7. Can I make Coq au Vin in a slow cooker?

Yes, Coq au Vin can be prepared in a slow cooker. Simply follow the same steps of searing the meat and sautéing the vegetables before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is tender.

8. Can I substitute the mushrooms in Coq au Vin?

If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can omit them from the recipe or substitute them with another vegetable of your choice. Just keep in mind that mushrooms add a unique flavor and texture to the dish.

In Conclusion

Chef John’s Coq au Vin is a testament to the rich culinary history of France. With its tender chicken thighs, aromatic vegetables, and velvety red wine sauce, this dish is sure to impress your dinner guests and transport them to the French countryside. So why not give it a try and experience the flavors of France in your own kitchen?

Chef Johns Coq au Vin compressed image1

Chef John's Coq au Vin

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 6 chicken thighs , bone-in and skin-on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 8 ounces of bacon , sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 large button mushrooms , quartered
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion , diced
  • 2 shallots , sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of red wine
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of chicken broth


  • Paraphrased Steps:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
  • In a large, oven-proof skillet, sauté the bacon over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
  • Increase the heat to high and place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, into the skillet. Cook until browned, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet.
  • Lower the heat to medium-high and sauté the mushrooms, onion, and shallots with a pinch of salt in the skillet until golden and caramelized, about 7 to 12 minutes.
  • Stir the flour and butter into the vegetable mixture until completely incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the red wine into the skillet and bring it to a boil, scraping the browned bits of food off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the bacon and thyme, and simmer until the wine is reduced by about 1/3, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and return the chicken thighs to the skillet. Bring it to a simmer.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and
Keyword Chicken, Collections, dinner, Dishes, European, French, Main, Recipes, Special, Thigh
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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