Coq Au Vin by Julia Child

"If you've never ignited alcohol in a dish before, you've gotta try it, LOL! As you can imagine, Julia's Coq Au Vin is delicious, and surprisingly easy. This recipe is from "Julia Child's Kitchen", and the ingredients are exactly as I found them. I've also added a couple of notes in the ingredients and directions regarding my experience with the recipe. A very fragrant and rich dish, very classic and so easy to make. I served it with buttered egg noodles and a homemade quickie brioche."
photo by Anne L. photo by Anne L.
photo by Anne L.
photo by Sue Bridges photo by Sue Bridges
Ready In:
1hr 55mins


  • 12 cup lardons, cut into 1/4 by 1 1/2 inch strips (embarrassing fact, I spent $20 on Courvoisier to make this dish and used turkey bacon because I don')
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more)
  • 2 12 lbs ready-cut frying chickens, thoroughly dried (a selection of parts, or all of one kind, I used chicken thighs and removed the skin so they wouldn')
  • 14 cup cognac or 1/4 cup armagnac
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 imported bay leaf (I couldn't find "imported", used domestic instead)
  • 14 teaspoon thyme
  • 16 -20 small white onions, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups red wine (Burgundy, Cotes du Rhone, or Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cups brown chicken stock or 2 cups beef bouillon (more or less; I used a little less)
  • 1 -2 clove garlic, mashed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 34 lb fresh mushrooms, trimmed,washed,and quartered


  • If you are using lardons, saute several minutes in 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottomed casserole until lightly browned; remove lardons to a side dish and leave fat in pan; otherwise, film pan with 1/8 inch of oil.
  • (My weird turkey bacon didn't give up a lot of fat, so I went with a little extra olive oil--).
  • Heat fat or oil in pan to moderately hot, add chicken, not crowding pan; turn frequently to brown nicely on all sides (my skinless thighs didn't exactly"brown" as chicken with skin would have; if I had used white meat I would have left the skin on).
  • Pour in the Cognac, shake pan a few seconds until bubbling hot, then ignite Cognac with a match.
  • (What a rush!).
  • Let flame a minute, swirling pan by its handle to burn off alcohol; extinguish with pan cover.
  • Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper; add bay leaf and thyme.
  • Place onions around the chicken.
  • Cover and cook slowly 10 minutes, turning once.
  • Uncover the pan; sprinkle on the flour turning chicken and onions so flour is absorbed; cook 3 to 4 minutes more, turning once or twice.
  • Remove from heat, gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock or bouillon to almost cover the chicken.
  • Add the browned lardons, garlic, and tomato paste.
  • Cover and simmer slowly 25 to 30 minutes, then test chicken, remove those pieces that are tender, and continue cooking the rest a few minutes longer.
  • (I actually cooked it about 15 to 20 minutes longer so it would reduce and become more of a sauce.) Return all chicken to the pan, add mushrooms and simmer 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Taste carefully, and correct seasoning.
  • Sauce should be just thick enough to coat chicken and vegetables lightly.
  • If too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if too thick, thin out with spoonfuls of bouillon.

Questions & Replies

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  1. INCREDIBLY delicious and company worthy. 10********** . Even my kids loved it! I used 1/4# of bacon, (2) 2# total, very meaty breast halves with skin & bone on, Christian Bros. brandy because we didn't have cognac, 1 medium yellow onion sliced, Pinto Noir, 4oz. tomato sauce because I never stock paste. I did simmer quite a bit longer to thicken up the sauce. Not a problem cuz I allowed enough time. I de-boned the breasts before serving. This is the ultimate dinner dish. Served with buttered noodles as suggested. Simply amazing!
  2. I actually followed the recipe out of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" which has a few more steps and ingredients, but is very similar. I just wanted to pass on my experience. I followed the recipe exactly, except that after removing the chicken from the wine, I strained the sauce through some cheese cloth after defatting. I just couldn't see having the floating lardons in the sauce, and I would do it again - it made it much more appetizing. Also, In the MTAOFC recipe, Julia has you make a paste of butter and flower and whisk it into the wine sauce - simmer and thicken. It was a lot of work and somewhat of a letdown. The flavor is sublime, but just not worthy of all the work, which is what I've always felt about French cooking. I have flamed a saute before - if you want a delicious lobster bisque recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook - you get to flambe the stock, and it's absolutely delicious and worth the work.
  3. DELISH! I used 4-6 strips of bacon, diced, instead of lardons. Would use only thighs next time, as breasts meat got a little dried out. I used a Cotes du Rhone wine. Wonderful dish.
  4. Absolutely delicious!!! My entire family oohed and aaaahed. First time lighting cognac. Fun!



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