Coq au Vin – French Comfort Food- A Rich and Historical Culinary Masterpiece!!

This dish though! < Big Sigh,>  Chicken cooked in a rich, velvety sauce, framed with smoky bacon & earthy flavors!  Various legends trace coq au vin to ancient Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century when Julia Child featured coq au vin 1961- on PBS in the United States.The Kennedy Era. This French countryside stew is now seen as one of Julia’s signature dishes.


1 Large whole chicken cut into 8 pieces

1/2 bottle full-bodied red wine, such as beautiful Burgundy 

1-2 cups rich full bodied chicken stock

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper 

6-8 ounce slab bacon, cut into 1/2-in. dice 

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, if needed 

1 lg. yellow onion, finely diced 

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 

20 large white pearl onions, peeled 

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 in chunks

1/2 pound  small cremini mushrooms 

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 

1 Tablespoon tomato paste 

2 Tablespoon Cognac 

1 -2 chicken livers, coarsely chopped 

2 bay leaves 

8-10 fresh thyme sprigs


Preheat the oven to 350’F  degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large 8 qt. Dutch oven or heavy 8 quart stock pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate (lined with paper towels ) with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.

Add carrots, onions, 2 t. salt, and 1 t. pepper to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes–stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly brown.

Add the garlic, cook additional minute. Add the Cognac and place the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate back into the pot. Add the red wine, chicken stock, thyme and bring to a simmer. 

Cover the pot with a tight lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is pink color –close to the bone. ( from the red wine) Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.

Combine 1 tablespoon of butter and combine with the flour to form a thick paste. Stir into the stew until thicken.Add the pearl onions.

 In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until caramelize and crispy brown. Add to the pot. 

Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. 

Season to taste. Serve hot with warm French Bread and the remaining bottle or Burgundy! 

Oooooooo La La!


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: