Julia Child’s Coq au Vin

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Coq au vin is the star of traditional French cuisine, known internationally as one of the best classics of French gastronomy. Although coq au vin might sound fancy, it’s really not that complicated, so don’t be intimidated. We will guide you through an easy-to-follow recipe that is based on Julia Child’s recipe.

A symbol of France

Coq au vin is made of two symbols of France. First of all, the coq is the living symbol of France. This robust animal reveals all its delicacy when cooked in another French symbol: wine. The wine will reveal all its flavors and smoothness after a long cooking time. Together with vegetables like carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a bouquet of bay leaf and thyme, it will create a flourish warm sauce.

Coq au vin made easier

Honestly, if you were looking for the classic original recipe then this is not the one This is a more easy recipe that uses more familiar ingredients that won’t take you hours to prepare. Its taste is still very rich and as tasteful as the original. Originally the recipe is made with a rooster which is marinated in red wine overnight. Rooster isn’t always available and to spare some time we based the recipe on Julia Child’s version. Since she translated the original recipe into a simple dish like it is made now, it became easier to prepare for everyone. This original Julia Child uses a whole chicken, but to make it a little easier this recipe is made with chicken thighs and legs. But if you do feel like using a whole chicken please do.

Coq au vin is the star of traditional French recipes, known internationally as one of the best classics of French gastronomy.

The best wine to make coq au vin

Of course, it makes a difference which wine you choose when cooking. The better quality wine the better your dish and sauce will taste. Our suggestion of course is Burgundy which is also used to make Beef Bourguignon, another classic we will make soon. Coq au vin is also a dish from Burgundy so it all makes sense right? Burgundy doesn’t only enhance the taste and aroma of food it also tenderizes the meat. It’s great as a base to make sauces.

What to serve with Coq au vin?

This dish is cooked with vegetables and can be served with comforting potatoes or rice. And then you get the perfect dish ideal for long winter evenings when you need to compensate for the cold of the wind with warmth in your stomach. Coq au vin is without doubt one of the best classic French dishes often served with Christmas.

This dish is not only a joy to eat but also a joy to prepare. I would definitely suggest you pour a glass of that great Burgundy wine, put your apron on, some jazzy French music in the background, and get cooking!

Coq au vin is the star of traditional French recipes, known internationally as one of the best classics of French gastronomy.

Classic Coq au Vin

Servings 4 people
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins


  • Dutch Oven


  • 8 pieces of chicken like thighs and legs
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 375 nl red wine
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 8 springs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • bay leafs
  • 1,5-2 tbsp flour
  • 250 grams mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • optional potatoes or rice to serve it with
  • 120 grams bacon lardons
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • Season the chicken pieces with pepper and salt. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven and fry the bacon lardons until browned. Place them on a plate covered with kitchen towel.
  • Bake the chickens in batches in the same pot in the juices and grease from the bacon. They don't have to fully cook, just to brown the skin and make it crispy. Once browend well on both sided place them on a plate.
  • Preheat the oven to 120°C (250 F).
  • Chop the onion and cut the carrots in slices and add to the pot. Season with pepper and salt and cook for about 10 minutes. After 5 minutes add the garlic. Stirr all the time so it won't burn.
  • Add the bacon and the chicken including al their juices to the pot. Pour in the wine, the chicken stock and add the thyme sprigs. Bring it all to a boil. Once boiling cover the pot with a lid and put the pot in the oven for antoher 55 minutes.
  • Check after 40 minutes how its going in the oven and if the chicken is cooked well. Melt the butter and add it to a small bowl. Mix it with the flour.
  • Take the pot from the oven and stir in the butter mix. This will thicken the sauce. Cut the mushrooms in slices and add to the pot. Place the pot back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • If you want you could add some cooked potatoes in the end to the pot so they will be flavored with the sauce.
  • In case you didnt' add potatoes to the pot, serve it with rice and fresh baguette. Bon apétit!
Course: dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Classic

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