Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is a classic French dish of which Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, and Auvergne all claim paternity, it is also an absolute favorite of mine on a cold winter night.

Where Did Coq au Vin Come From?

According to various legends, Coq au Vin can be traced back to Julius Caesar and conquest of Gaul. It is said that during the conquest, the chief of the Arverni tribe, taunted the Romans who besieged him, by sending Caesar a rooster, which was a symbol of the valor of the Gauls. In response, Caesar ordered his chefs to find a recipe that would assert the authority of the emperor. Since wine was a sign of wealth and status, to assert his dominance, Caesar returned the “favor” by inviting the chief to dinner where he was served his rooster cooked in wine sauce.

Coq au Vin

Traditionally, Coq au Vin calls for a rooster (a chicken in modern times), to be cut into pieces and stewed with simple ingredients, but the technique and time to pull this dish together takes some effort. Some people question if this classic dish is a chicken stew, but he answers there is no, not even close. Stew, chicken or beef for that matter, is a less complex American invention, and Coq au Vin is a much more delicate, rich braised meat dish by comparison.

Coq au Vin

To clarify, Coq au Vin may be elegant in name and presentation, but it’s a great prep-ahead dish that works for small or larger gatherings any day of the week. Flavors intensify with time so making this dish in advance, like a great beef bourguignon, can help and not hinder the amazing rich flavors you’re going for. So this winter, go classic with this lovely, flavorful Coq au Vin recipe sure to please even your mother-in-law.

Coq au Vin

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

3 thoughts on "Coq au Vin"

  1. Avatar photo Jeff Walters says:

    I made your Coq au Vin recipe with a couple of minor variations. I added some very thinly sliced radishes, red onion, and leek to the carrots and mushrooms. I also cooked a package of small red and gold potatoes on top, which is not traditionally french, but I like potatoes. Transferred it to a crockpot to simmer, since I don’t have a dutch oven, but I did put the crockpot vessel in the oven for the final step. It turned out fantastic. The pearl onions were an amazing burst of flavor. The only thing I would do differently next time is add more mushrooms

    1. Hi Jeff-Thanks so much for trying my recipe and for taking the time to comment. I love hearing feedback. Lots of room for flexibility in cooking, that is why I love it so. Keep on cooking and stay safe.

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