Go Back
Classic French Coq au Vin

Classic French Coq au Vin (the Julia Child inspired recipe)

Recipe serves 4-6; I doubled this recipe.

Course Main
Cuisine French
Author Valerie Lugonja inspired by Julia Child


  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs.
  • 3 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 shallots sliced into thin circles (I didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 pound or 250 g thick bacon sliced into lardons, fried and drained
  • 1 bag pearl type onions approx. 15-18, peeled (mine were twice as big as pearl onions)
  • 1/2 pound or 250g small mushrooms cleaned and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • cups full-bodied good quality Burgundy or Pinot Noir wine
  • 1 1/2  cups  unsalted homemade beef stock
  • 4 garlic cloves cleaned and thinly sliced
  • Tablespoon tomato paste
  • Bouquet Garni 1 celery stick, 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, 5 parsley sprigs, 2 bay leaves – I wrapped mine in cheese cloth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat leafed parsley leaves only - for garnish

Ingredients for Chicken Stock

  • water
  • 2 celery stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 5-6 pepper corn
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Cut away the tail and excess fat from the chicken and butcher it into 2 breast pieces, separate the wings and wing tips, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs. Leave skin intact; set aside
  2. Place the back, neck, wing tips and other bony bits into your stockpot to make an excellent chicken stock that you will use in this recipe. Find the chicken stock recipe link in notes section; put it all together now and get it simmering on the stove

  3. Over medium high heat, in a heavy deep pot, add the vegetable oil and in a single layer, add the chicken pieces; brown for 3-4 minutes on all sides until crispy golden brown; set aside
  4. Add the diced onion to the chicken fat, reduce heat to medium-high and sauté until the onion has softened and is translucent
  5. Add the red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, garlic slices, shallots and bouquet garni
  6. Return the chicken to the pan, combine all ingredients, and sprinkle with the flour; toss and add the stock until all ingredients are just covered
  7. Bring the stew to a simmer; cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer slowly for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid any sticking to the pot (and if it is truly simmering, this should not be a problem)
  8. While simmering, sauté the bacon until golden brown; remove from pan and set aside on paper towel
  9. Add the sliced mushrooms to the same pan and sauté on high heat until golden brown; set aside
  10. In the same pan, add the pearl onions and sauté until caramelized; set aside (this can take a good 20 minutes)
  11. The coq au vin should be just finished simmering; the sauce should have thickened, but still be the consistency of a thin gravy
  12. Fifteen minutes prior to service, add the mushrooms, pearl onions and bacon to the stew; taste and adjust seasonings accordingly
  13. If serving family style, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve immediately; if plating, serve on top of creamy mashed potatoes, garnished with freshly chopped flat leafed parsley sprinkled on top with a side of green peas

Recipe Notes

Optional to place the lid onto the pot and place stew in preheated 350 F oven for 30 minutes after adding the mushrooms, onion and bacon, just prior to service. The sauce should be the consistency of thin gravy. If it is too thick, thin with a fresh chicken stock. If it is too thin, remove some of the sauce, add flour to it, shaking well until fully incorporated and then carefully introduce the thickened portion back to the main sauce, cooking briefly to thicken

Chicken Stock recipe is here.