Coq au Vin

Rooster Braised in Red Wine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield:

    4 to 6


Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Traditional recipes for coq au vin finish the sauce with the rooster’s blood, which is still a good idea if starting with a live bird (see “Blood”). Coq au vin is usually thought of as Burgundian, and some cooks underline this fact by using a good marc de Bourgogne to deglaze the pan after browning and again to finish the braising liquid. Another approach is to give the dish local character by using the appropriate wine and herbs, and finishing with the appropriate spirit (such as California Zinfandel or Napa Valley brandy). However, if you’re in Burgundy, don’t be crazy and use red Burgundy, traditional or not. It doesn’t have the necessary structure, to say nothing of its expense.

In this recipe, the pieces of rooster are coated with flour, browned, and moistened with red wine. The consistency of the braising liquid is adjusted at the end by reduction and with beurre manié. For flourless versions, the flour and beurre manié can be omitted and the braising liquid lent natural body by including blanched pork rinds in the braise. The finished braising liquid can also be combined with concentrated chicken stock, or glace de viande can be added to give it body. With either version, the braising liquid is then reduced to the desired consistency.


lean salt pork 5 oz 150 g
rooster, 1, cut into serving pieces 5 to 6 lb 2.3 to 2.7 kg
salt and pepper to taste to taste
flour 1 cup 150 g
carrot, chopped 1 medium 1 medium
onion, chopped 1 medium 1 medium
red wine 3 cups 750 ml
large bouquet garni 1 1
brandy or marc ½ cup 125 ml
button mushrooms 8 oz 250 g
butter 2 oz 60 g
pearl onions, peeled 8 oz 250 g
heart-shaped croutons 4 to 6 4 to 6
clarified butter ¼ cup 60 ml
beurre manié ¼ cup 60 g
chopped parsley 2 tbsp 30 ml


  1. If you’ll be cooking the coq au vin in the oven, preheat it to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Cut the salt pork into thick lardons and blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Render the lardons in a 4-quart (4 liter) heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the rooster pieces. Remove the lardons with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  3. Season the rooster pieces with salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour.
  4. Brown the carrot and onion in the rendered pork fat. Remove them with a slotted spoon and brown the pieces of rooster. When the rooster pieces are well browned, remove them and discard the fat in the pot.
  5. Place the sautéed vegetables, browned rooster pieces, wine, bouquet garni, and brandy or marc in the pot. Cover and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cook either in the oven or on top of the stove for 1½ hours or until the pieces of rooster are easily penetrated with a skewer. Check periodically to make sure the liquid isn’t boiling. Adjust temperatures accordingly.
  6. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 ounce (30 grams) of the butter for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned; set aside. Gently cook the pearl onions in the remaining 1 ounce (30 grams) butter for about 20 minutes, until they soften; set aside. Lightly brown the croutons in the clarified butter and set aside.
  7. Carefully remove the cooked pieces of rooster from the pot with a slotted spoon. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan large enough to hold the rooster and vegetables.
  8. Slowly reduce the braising liquid, skimming off any fat or froth that floats to the surface. Continue reducing until the braising liquid has a deep, full flavor.
  9. Whisk the beurre manié 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) at a time into the liquid until the braising liquid has the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. (The flavor of the braising liquid can usually be improved by adding a tablespoon or two [15 to 30 milliliters] good vinegar and Cognac.) Gently heat the rooster with the mushroom and pearl onion garniture and the lardons in the sauce. Dip the tips of the croutons in the sauce and then in the parsley. Arrange the croutons around the serving platter.