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Coq au Vin: A Gnarly Dish


Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Copyright 2009 Kevin D Weeks
Coq au Vin (rooster in wine) is an ancient French peasant dish made when a rooster has gotten past it's prime. Such birds are tough and stringy and so the goal is to make it tender and flavorful and this is accomplished by braising it in wine. The wine chosen is usually specific to the area of France where it's made but in all cases it goes into a pot with wine and vegetables for a at least a couple to three hours of simmering. In my version the chicken marinates in wine with aromatics before cooking and uses chicken thighs because roosters aren't usually available. (Larger image.) Serves 2.

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours, 2 minutes


  • 2 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 carrot; peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 sm stalk celery; finely chopped
  • 1/2 md onion; finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprig rosemary; bruised*
  • 1 lg clove garlic; smashed
  • 1 c red wine (I recommend pinot noir or zinfandel)
  • 1/2 c chicken stock/broth (may not be needed)
  • Salt and pepper


1. Put duck legs in a gallon plastic bag and add remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Heat oven to 275F.

3. Remove legs from bag (keeping marinade) and remove skin. Place skinless legs in a small Dutch oven or heavy oven-proof sauce pan then add marinade. The liquid should come half-way up the sides of the meat, if not, add some chicken stock/broth.

4. Place over medium high heat and bring just to a boil. Cover and move pot to the center of the oven.

5. Cook for 2 1/2 hours, turning legs half way through.

6. When chicken is done, remove legs from pot and set aside. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig and discard. Using either a stand-alone blender, a food processor, or a hand blender puree sauce. Serve breasts over rice, polenta, or pasta drizzled with sauce, and garnished with skin and a few fresh rosemary leaves.

*To bruise herbs, roll the sprigs between your palms.

Related Video
How to Make Coq au Vin

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