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Jan 6, 2009 09:13 AM

Coq au vin -- what's your favorite recipe?

Planning to make this for 6 people on Saturday. Appetizer will be homemade gravlax, probably some nice cheeses & French baguette. As a side, a big salad of mâche with (probably) avocado & walnuts and a walnut vinaigrette.

Since there's generally pearl onions, carrots, and potatoes (?) in the coq, do I need another side dish? What do you serve along with coq? And do you always make it with Pinot Noir? 1 bottle? 2?

TIA, as always!!!

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  1. Try hard to get a large chicken or if your grocery store carries them, a capon. Check in the frozen section with the ducks and the turkeys - that's usually where the capons are. That will make a significant difference in your dish first off the bat. A "regular" 3 or 4 pound grocery store chicken will result in a stringy mess that will not be as tasty or as rich. Afterall, the word "coq" does not exactly denote the use of a small, female chicken if you catch my drift. ;-)

    I would go for a crusty baguette to serve along side the dish instead of with the cheese but that's just me. You really don't need much else if you have those other things as appetizers.

    I don't use potatoes or carrots when I do this dish - It's just not traditional but it would certainly work if you really want them in there.

    You're forgetting mushrooms and garlic. Don't forget the garlic!

    For the wine, I would certainly try to use a pinot noir... it's not critical but it's a little more traditional. Burgundy is the traditional wine, if I'm not mistaken, and Burgundy wines tend to be pinot noir vines. One bottle or 2 is up to you and should be evaluated depending on the size of your bird and the size of your pot. Don't get into the "showman" mentality and think that it will be cool to use 2 bottles just to impress your guests, you could very well be wasting a good bottle of wine. Remember you often add some stock in this dish too, so don't go overboard.

    By all means, serve the same wine that you've cooked with.

    3 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      Thanks Häagen, those were some good pointers. As for the carrots and potatoes I mentioned, I must've confused the dish with boeuf bourguignon, which might also be an option. A capon might be hard to come by, but I'll check.

      I just want to make sure nobody leaves hungry -- while that is generally not a problem in our household, "just chicken braised in wine, even with the 'shrooms" doesn't sound like much to feed a crowd, no?

      And is there a particular recipe you really like, or have you made it so often you don't need one anymore?

      Anywhos. Much appreciated! I'll keep doing some research.

      1. re: linguafood

        The approach is very similar to boeuf bourguignon, you're absolutely correct. No, I don't have a favorite recipe, I just gather a few recipes from here and there and pick out the pieces that are all in common and then put my own spin on it if I want.

        You can always serve this over rice or noodles if you want. That and a salad should be enough. After a coupe drinks, appetizers of cheese and fish with crackers, dinner over rice/noodles, with a side of bread and a salad, and maybe a dessert, I think you'll be fine! ;-)

        I think you can probably find a capon if you're in a major city. If you can't find a capon look for a stewing hen. You CAN use regular chicken, but just be aware that it can easily be overcooked.

        Just doing a Google search here are a couple I've read before. Note that there are some steps in some recipes that aren't duplicated in others. For instance, Alton's recipe uses carrots and celery but he strains them out before serving.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          Yeah, I had seen the AB recipe online and found it to be... a bit involved (no! an AB recipe involved? who would've thunk '-P).

          I like the way you roll with regard to recipes. I basically cook the same way -- glance at a number of recipes and pick out the things I like best...

    2. If you want the 'best' instead 'favorite' coq au vin recipe, check this thread - it's only a week old!

      1 Reply
      1. Wow - what great timing! I just wrote about my favorite Coq au Vin recipe (from Gourmet) here:

        I love this dish, and as I mention this recipe is much simpler than the involved Alton Brown recipe (which I've made before too) but just as good.

        Sides of salad and rustic mashed potatoes would go well with the Coq au Vin. Mr. B (my husband) wrote a follow up post on the wine we enjoyed with the dinner (Pasodobles), but we thought that a burgundy would be a better choice next time.


        1. Coincidentally, Eric Ripert just posted a recipe on his blog for coq au vin. I haven't tried it yet given that it came out yesterday, but I assume that it's probably good.

          1. I just recently tried altons, and its good, i've tried JCs in the past as well and it has also been good.

            I don't like the look of the diced mirepoix on the food/sauce in Riperts much.....strain it out, reduce it, or heck, stick blend it. the only chunks that should be in my velvety unctuous sauce is pearl onions, mushrooms, and lardons (in my opinion)

            also, many "chefs" will balk at a coq au vin that takes less than 24 hours to make. so I've called my version (which is similiar to altons, with a little less tomato paste and not marinated for 24 hours) Faux au Vin.

            Big chicken is best.

            and make sure to keep big chunks of mushroom, quartered only

            noodles and a crusty baguette, perfection.

            2 Replies
            1. re: RPMcMurphy

              Faux au Vin
              fake chicken with wine - or is that chicken with fake wine? Either way it sounds nasty.

              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                Louis Diat's Basic French Cookbook (1961) has a Coq au Vin (Chicken in wine) that calls for a 4lb bird, no marinating. It does have the mushrooms and small onions. And 40 minutes of simmer.

                His introduction includes a story about his grandmother preparing several large casseroles of "poulet au vin a le'etuvee" for a wedding. So if you are bothered about not having a 'coq' that requires long cooking, you can still sound French with a 'poulet'.