Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coq Au Vin, Julia Child Style

This idea for this blog was born, when I saw Julie and Julia, the movie.  The movie is about Julia Child and Julie Powell,  who aspires to make all of 524 recipes in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog that would make her a published author. Both my husband and I loved the movie.  I came away from the movie with the belief that, if Julie could write blog, so could I, silly me.

My husband, Scott  had been making Coq Au Vin, ( Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, and Bacon) long before I had met him 12 yrs ago.  It wasn't until  after  we saw the Julie and movie, that he started making Coq Au Vin Julia's way.  You see I gave him Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. and he has made it her way ever since.  Making making Coq Au Vin Julia Child's way, is truly an expression of love, for the time and detail involved in making this wonderful dish.  It was only fitting that Scott made the Coq Au Vin for our Valentine dinner .I couldn't have received a more thoughtful, loving valentine, than the Coq Au Vin  He actually made this on Monday, so all of those wonderful flavors  of the bacon, onions mushrooms, wine and herbs in the wine sauce could intensify and meld in the pot.  This dish is outstanding, and the flavor is beyond belief, it is so good.

The most labor intensive aspects of Julia's recipe are the Brown-Braised onions, and Sauteed Mushrooms.  Do not skip these steps.  These two ingredients give the dish so much depth and flavor.  You can make these  two elements in advance, if needed. He also made the Herb bouquet, which he had never done before.

Scott mostly followed the recipe, except for a few minor changes. He removed the skin from the chicken.  He used dark rum, in place of the cognac, and low sodium chicken stock, in place of beef stock.   Of course, we added carrots, which we love, but are not in the recipe.  We were going to use turkey bacon in place of regular bacon, but it had gone bad. He served it over wide noodles.

We also had this wonderful wine, which was blend of reds, and went so well with the dish.

Coq Au Vin [Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms and Bacon]
 Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking  and  Smitten Kitten
A 3- to 4-ounce chunk of bacon
A heavy, 10-inch, fireproof casserole
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cognac  We used dark rum
3 cups young, full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Chianti
1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock or canned beef bouillon used low sodium chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
12 to 24 brown-braised onions (recipe follows)
1/2 pound sautéed mushrooms (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
Sprigs of fresh parsley

1. Remove the rind of and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry. [Deb note: As noted, I'd totally skip this step next time.]
2. Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Remove to a side dish.
3. Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole.
4. Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.
5. Uncover, and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
6. Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.
7. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms (recipe follows).
8. Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
9. Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (buerre manie). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
10. Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. If this dish is not to be served immediately, film the top of the sauce with stock or dot with small pieces of butter. Set aside uncovered. It can now wait indefinitely.
11. Shortly before serving, bring to the simmer, basting the chicken with the sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is hot enough.
12. Sever from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with spring for parsley.

Oignons Glacés a Brun [Brown-braised Onions]
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
For 18 to 24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
A 9- to 10-inch enameled skillet
1/2 cup of brown stock, canned beef bouillon, dry white wine, red wine or water
Salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 3 parsley springs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth

When the butter and oil are bubbling the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.
Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the herb bouquet. Serve them as they are.

Champignons Sautés Au Buerre [Sautéed Mushrooms]
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
A 10-inch enameled skillet
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions (optional)
Salt and pepper

Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating that it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

Toss the shallots or green onions with the mushrooms. Sauté over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

Sautéed mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.

Scott note: Six carrots cut in 3 “ chunks may be added, when the chicken is cooking


  1. I have had this at a restaurant, but have never tried making it at home. Bravo to your hubby for putting forth the effort to make this amazing dish! Just the fact that he has gladly made this several times tells me that this is a winning recipe!
    Lucky you to have another cook in the house to give you a break now and then. No doubt you had a delicious Valentine's dinner. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Tina,
      I am really lucky that Scott loves to cook, and even the complicated, involved recipes. This Coq Au Vin is so good, and the flavors are wonderful. One good thing about Julia's recipe is that you could make the onions and mushrooms in advance and reheat them, which would help with time standing in the kitchen at one time.

      We had a wonderful Valentine dinner.

  2. Becky what an amazing dinner--thanks for sharing! Scott did a great job yet again!

    1. Jill,
      Scott did a wonderful job with the Coq Au Vin. It was so good!

  3. I love that sister loves it too. This looks amazing, Becky. I wish I had a plate of this waiting for me at home! Thank you for sharing...and thank you for visiting my blog. It brightens my day to hear from you! Hugs and love from Austin.

    1. Monet,
      If you lived closer, I would give you some:) I love hearing from you.
      Have a great week. Hugs!

  4. I love that Scott made this for you for Valentine's Day...what a fabulous gift. I love that you added carrots...I will do the same! So wonderful.

    1. Lizzy,
      I am very happy with my Valentine present. Scott is an amazing cook. Love those carrots, plus they give the dish a little color;)

  5. I think that Mr. Scott did incredible speak the truth as I am looking at it my mouth is watering!!! Fantastic meal and perfect for celebrating the Valentine's Day!!

    1. Sandra,
      Scott is an amazing cook, and he he loves to make this dish. This dish truly is an expression of love.

  6. this looks spectacular! I've been meaning to make Coq au Vin and now you have convinced me - gorgeous!
    Mary x

    1. Mary,
      I'm so glad that you like this recipe. if you make it, let me know now it turned out.

  7. That really was a lovely gesture. I've never tried her version, can you believe that. I do love wine, especially in food. Sounds like you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Hope the rest of your week is going well. Still busy over here packing.

  8. This dish looks wonderful, and well worth the effort. I'll add this to my list to try some day!


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