I prepared this Coq Au Vin on Food Network's The Julia Child Challenge when we were tasked with preparing our own version of the classic Julia Child dish.
I prepared this Coq Au Vin on The Julia Child Challenge in under 90 minutes all in - eek! My dish was greatly inspired by my mom’s braised short ribs, a lifelong holiday and comfort food favorite in my family. It was the first recipe she used to teach me about braising meat, and one that has grown into a traditional dish that I now prepare for my own family.
I can’t really describe the feeling I had seeing my dish as the cover for this episode. Such love from the kitchen surrounds this meal, and there it was, on my television. Best of all, preparing this on the show encouraged me to finally write the formal recipe. It took a great deal of focus, testing, and time, because the most difficult recipes to develop are the ones you know instinctively, the ones that live in your heart and bones and pour out of you like a sixth sense. It’s like writing instructions for how to see or feel something, and I wanted to be sure it’s perfect for sharing.
So here it is, and I’m so excited! I really hope you’ll welcome this Coq Au Vin, inspired by Mama Nancy and Julia, into your homes, and create tons of beautiful memories around this delicious, elegant, and comforting meal.
If you're looking for the perfect pan for preparing this dish, I love to use my Great Jones Dutchess. And it's so gorgeous that you can just place it on a trivet or kitchen towel and serve right from the pan. She’s born to star in the center of the table.
If you make this Coq Au Vin recipe to enjoy with your loved ones, please tag @threebirdsonestove so I can see how you're gathering together over this classic and comforting meal.
Watch The Julia Child Challenge, Mondays at 9PM EST, on Food Network and Discovery Plus!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Coq Au Vin:
1 cup lardons
Olive oil for sautéing throughout recipe
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3-4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, rinsed in hot water and patted very dry with paper towels
1 medium sized sweet onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
3 celery stalks, chopped into half moon shapes
2 cups chicken stock
1 bottle red wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
Crispy Mushroom Topper:
2 tablespoons ghee
¼ cup Sherry wine
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ pound meaty mushrooms (I prefer Shiitake or oyster)
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnishing
1 cup flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups of the Coq Au Vin juices (may vary based on desired thickness)
1 loaf Pain de Campagne (French country bread) or sourdough, sliced into 2-inch thick slices
2 garlic cloves, halved
Preheat oven to 275°
Brown the Meat:
Season dried chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place aside.
Add lardons to room temperature dutch oven. Bring to low heat and cook until crisp and golden, 8-10 minutes. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place aside.
Add olive oil and butter to the pot over high heat. Brown chicken in batches for 8-10 minutes on each side, until skins are crisp and golden. Remove and place aside with lardons.
Sauté the Vegetables:
Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to pot over low-medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic cloves and sauté 2 minutes more. Then add carrots and celery. Increase to medium heat and continue to sauté until translucent and softened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
Time to Braise:
Add stock, wine, and herbs to the pot. Stir to combine. Return chicken and lardons, making sure all meat is fully submerged.
Cook for 1 hour. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s cooked, a simple rule of thumb is that the chicken is cooked through when the thickest part of the meat is around 165 degrees F.
Remove pot from oven and allow to sit covered for one hour. Make the gravy.
Make the Gravy:
Add flour and butter to a pan over medium heat. Use a whisk to stir constantly. Once the butter is melted, add the juices from the dutch oven. Continue to stir at a simmer for about 10 minutes. If you want a thinner gravy, add more juices one tablespoon at a time, stirring in between, until you reach your desired texture.
Discard bay leaf and herb sprigs. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a serving dish. Top with vegetables and a light coating of the gravy. Top with crispy mushrooms (below) and serve with garlic bread (below). Serve remaining gravy on the side, and freeze any leftover gravy and juices for future use.
For the Sautéed Mushrooms:
Add ghee to large non-stick skillet and melt over medium-high heat.
Once melted, add Sherry and cornstarch. Stir with a whisk until combined and thickened, about 5 minutes, and bring to a simmer.
Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
*Recipe note: Remember what Julia Child told us about not crowding the pan? Oh so true! Mushrooms have a high water content. If you overcrowd the pan, they will steam rather than brown. If necessary, cook them in batches. Trust me, it’s worth it to reach that meaty texture and savory flavor!
For the Garlic Bread:
Heat a grill pan or griddle over high heat. Grill the bread in 2-inch thick slices until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and rub with garlic.