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Aug 4, 2012 05:12 PM


Could someone tell me if they have had good luck freezing coq au vin? I would like to make it about 4 days ahead of time to take up to our mountain house for guests. Also, how much time should I allow for thawing out?

Don't want to screw this one up! Your help is very appreciated...

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  1. Yes, you can freeze it. Thawing out time will depend on how much you're making.

    But Coq au Vin also lasts very well for several days in the fridge, so if you think about it & plan accordingly, you might not have to freeze it at all; just keep it chilled.

    Although if you plan on making it 4 days ahead of time, you really do need to serve it the first night of your trip. Otherwise, freeze & thaw. If making it two days before? No need to freeze.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bacardi1

      Thanks so much for that answer. It is very clear to me now.

      1. re: JENNYBEEAY

        To be honest, Coq au Vin is even better made a day or two ahead. The late great Julia Child insisted that - like many stews & braises - the flavors were better after having had more time to meld together.

        (One caveat re: freezing that I forgot to mention is that your pearl onions may get a little mushy after thawing. So if you're going go the freezing route, you may want to cook your onions (or use commercial frozen onions) separately & add them later during the reheating stage.)

        1. re: Bacardi1

          Excellent idea. I will definitely do that. Thanks for adding that in.

    2. It'll freeze fine. As with any stew or casserole that you're freezing, remember to undercook it and then, when you warm it up again, it should be perfect.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        I would never undercook a poultry stew or casserole before freezing. While it should never be "overcooked", it should be cooked just as if you were serving it immediately. Undercooking, freezing, thawing, & reheating isn't safe & I've yet to see that method recommended anywhere. I'll stick with Julia Child, thank you. A fully & well-cooked Coq au Vin is even better a day or two after cooking, whether frozen inbetween or not.

        1. re: Bacardi1

          If you're going to freeze it cooked as though it was ready for serving, then it's going to be overcooked when you reheat it. If you like overcooked poultry, then no problem.

          If you prefer properly cooked poultry, then undercook it before freezing. It is no different from any other caserole.

          1. re: Harters

            So you're saying that both health/safety advisements AND good old Julia Child are wrong & you're right? Because even without freezing, Julia (as well as other well-known chefs) advise that braises such as Coq au Vin are 100% better if cooked & then refrigerated a day or two before reheating & serving. I do it ALL the time (poultry braises are one of my favorite dishes - in fact, I'm making one tonight) & have NEVER produced an "overcooked" poultry stew/braise. Remember - we're talking about stews & braises here.

            1. re: Bacardi1

              "So you're saying that both health/safety advisements AND good old Julia Child are wrong & you're right?"


              I wouldnt set to much store by Julia. Views about food hygiene and how long things needed to be cooked for have moved on considerably in the last 50 years. A Google on "undercook" & "casserole" will find plenty of confirmation of that and you'll see I'm hardly the only one recommending not fully cooking something, if you later plan to cook it further.

              I'm sure youre already aware of this but it's worth mentioning for other readers who may be lkess experienced - the key factor in food safety is to cool it down as quick as you can after the first cooking, so you can get it frozen as soon as possible. And, then when reheating, make sure it gets up to speed quickly and is throughly piping hot before serving it. That way, you end up with food that is safe to eat and is *not* overcooked.

              1. re: Harters

                I would never undercook. I have no problem gently reheating all manner of frozen food without overcooking it.

                1. re: Harters

                  Well, I'm happy if this works for you, but I'd never recommend it - especially with poultry. It may work for many casseroles, but I'd NEVER recommend it for Coq au Vin. Both unsafe & unnecessary.

                  We'll just have to agree to disagree, & I will only hope that you don't ever end up having an intimate relationship with your bathroom because of your method.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Well, havnt had a problem yet in the 40 years I've been cooking. And food safety is *very* important to me. Obviously.

                    Of course, much as I'm not serving the food overcooked, I'm not serving it undercooked either. If I'm cooking coq au vin and serving it straightaway, then my cookbooks tell me it's going to need around 60 minutes to fully cook.

                    So, if I'm planning to freeze all of it (or indeed make it one day for serving the next), then I'll initially cook it for 45 minutes, freeze and then give it the final 15 minutes simmering when I'm warming it up to serve. Perfectly cooked chicken (having had the recommended 60 minutes) and absolutely no food safety issues. I repeat - absolutely no food safety issues - as it will have cooled quickly after the first session and been brought up to a proper temperature, in the second (all as recommended by the public health authorities).

                    But let's agree to disagree. Perhaps my definition of overcooked chicken is not your definition.

        2. You can....but why????? ~~ Make it one or two days ahead and keep refrigerated.....better still.. cook it fresh at the mountain house...


          9 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            it is not as good fresh. Braises are much better on day 2, 3 or even 4.

            1. re: magiesmom

              So 'they' say....I'm not a fan of 4 day old left over chicken, beef, pork etc (Especially chicken). Given 1 day to allow the sinuses to clear, and the taste buds to recover from repeated tastings.....I'm good to go.


              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Well, I'll admit that 4 days is definitely pushing it, but 1-2 days of post-cooked Coq au Vin really is delicious. Even when I've cooked & served it the same day, I'm secretly rubbing my hands together thinking about the leftovers. :)

                (Oh, & if you follow Julia's recipe, you need to add a day of preparation, as she suggests marinating the chicken in the wine overnight prior to cooking.)

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  chicken, maybe. But I swear by day 4 for brisket.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    Yes - beef & pork stews/braises are totally different animals. ;)

                  2. re: Bacardi1

                    Definitely marinating for 2 full I'm debating cooking late the night before I travel....gotta decide soon though. Thanks for the input.

                    1. re: JENNYBEEAY

                      No way would I marinate for 2 days -- even the oldest, toughest coq would be reduced to stringy mush by that point.

                      I have never marinated for coq au vin....but overnight would be more than enough for any poultry.

                      (I figure if tough-as-nails beef shoulder is meltingly tender after an overnight marinade, chicken would dissolve)

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I definitely agree. Marinate overnight only. Two days will ruin the texture of the chicken. It will be mushy to the point of disintegrating when you cook it.

              2. re: Uncle Bob

                Not enough time this time but in the future that sounds like a great plan.

              3. Yes, but only if you stop yelling.

                1. Well I had just some on the fourth day, and it was tasty, but pailed against original, which was *amazing!*