Making Coq au Vin (Rooster in wine sauce) Like the French

Making Coq au Vin recipe

Making Coq au Vin

As we all know, chicken is typically tender, but the male is a stubborn bird. The meat from a rooster is often much tougher and requires some tenderizing. The flavor however is highly pronounced and twice as flavorful as ordinary chicken. While the translation often mentions wine, the true recipe for Coq au Vin starts with a stronger spirit as a marinade. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 Rooster (7-8 lbs, but alternatively one 3-4 lb roasting chicken) This calls for all the pieces to be separated into parts including legs, breasts, and various chicken parts. For the added flavors include the giblet, liver, and heart.
  • 12 OZ Bacon (without the rind and diced into 1-inch cubes, or 8oz if only using a chicken)Cup Brandy, Calvados, or Poire Willliam (all 3 are a brandy so you can choose)
  • 1 Bottle Red wine (a hearty wine)
  • 1 Slice Dried ham (this should be a 1-inch slice and diced into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (this is thyme, bay leaves, and parsley wrapped into a bouquet) (this is thyme, bay leaves, and parsley wrapped into a bouquet)
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 Cloves garlic (with the green tip removed)
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock

The chicken sauce

the chicken sauce


  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chicken stock (only use the prepared stock that cooked the chicken for this sauce)

The garnish side dish

The garnish side dish


  • 1 lb Fresh mushrooms (your choice of brown or white buttons cleaned and trimmed)
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Preparing the chicken:

In a large cooking pot place your butter and melt this over medium heat. What you want to do is brown the rooster (or chicken) on all sides. Do this in two parts if that’s easier. Then you add the liquor all over the chicken. This next part requires caution since you need to burn off the alcohol. Use a long kitchen lighter and ignite it. The alcohol will be impressive at first but burns down quickly after a minute.

After the liquor is burn-out you remove the chicken from the pot and put it onto a temporary plate. You’ll need to cook your bacon in the pot now. This needs to brown on all sides in the butter and left-over liquor mix. While this is happening, you can mince the giblets, liver, and heart in a food processor along with the cubed ham. You should have a processor that can mince these tough meat pieces.

After the bacon is browned, you can return the chicken parts back to the pot. Now season this with salt and pepper. Use your best judgment to your taste when using the salt and pepper. Then add the bottle of wine, the herb bouquet, and the garlic. Stir in the minced ham and chicken parts. Then add just enough chicken stock to cover the top of the chicken. Obviously, you’ll need a large cooking pot that’s big enough for your chicken first.

This liquid needs to come to a boil but immediately after it should be reduced to a simmer. This helps to burn off the alcohol in the wine. Now it needs to cook for 1 hours (1-hour for regular chicken) or until the meat is tender, but not falling off the bones.

Preparing the mushroom garnish:

This makes a great garnish side dish next to the chicken and is essentially sautéed mushrooms. You can slice the mushrooms or cook them whole if they are smaller than cherry tomatoes. Take a saucepan and heat your butter until it’s foaming. Now add the mushrooms and reduce the burner to medium heat. You need to stir them often for at least 5-7 minutes. After this, turn off the heat and add some seasoning. Let them marinate for a while.

Preparing the chicken sauce:

In a small bowl, take your butter and soften it in the microwave until it’s nearly melting. Mix this with the flour so it becomes a paste. Add ¼ of the liquid from the chicken pot and mix it into the butter and flour mixture. This prevents the clumping of the flour and makes the liquid in the pot thicker. Add this back into the pot while your chicken is still cooking. Mix it until you see that it starts to thicken.

Serving the chicken:

At this point, you can taste the sauce and season it further to your liking. This dish is typically better if you let it marinate for 8 hours. After it cools-off, simply reheat the chicken and mushrooms separately and then serve. This recipe is good for 6-8 people, but if you only use a whole hen it serves 4-6 people.



This is a comfort dish that is a bit of everything and the kitchen sink. But instead of the sink, the French people of southern Toulouse use the Cassole. This is a cone-shaped bowl that helps make sure as much of the top has a generous crust. Coincidentally, this recipe may be labor-intensive but is very true to the ingredients if southern France.


  • 1 Fresh ham hocks (these are fresh pig feet and not smoked) The reason you use fresh ham hocks is the amount of time it takes to cook them. They do become incredibly tender after rendering it down. Smoked ham hocks don’t have the right water content and will take much longer to soften.
  • 1 lb Boneless pork shoulder (cut these into 1-inch cubes)
  • 6 oz Pork skin (this needs ¼-inch of fat on them) (this needs ¼-inch of fat on them)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 lbs Dried Tarbais or Cannellini beans (pick the better-looking beans and rinse them well)
  • 2 oz Salted pork (with the skin removed)
  • 1/3 cup Duck fat
  • 3 Small carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Medium onions (fist-sized that are diced)
  • 5 oz Piece of pancetta
  • 5 oz Piece of prosciutto
  • 1 Garlic head (unpeeled and add 4 peeled garlic cloves)
  • 1 Large plum tomato (chopped)
  • 6 cups Chicken broth (1419 grams)
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (4 parsley sprigs, 3 small celery ribs, 2 thyme sprigs, & 1 bay leaf tied-up)
  • 6 Duck confit legs
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 lbs French-style pork sausages (such as ones made in Toulouse but French nonetheless)
  • ¼ cup of fresh bread crumbs

Prepare the ham hocks and beans:

First, you put the ham hocks and the cubed pork shoulder into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. All you need to do is cover it and let this refrigerate overnight. In another bowl, you place your beans and cover them with 3-inches of water and have them soak overnight.

Prepping the salted pork and pork skin:

The next day, you take a medium saucepan and add the salted pork and pork skin. Cover this with water and bring to a boil and then simmer until the skin is flexible. This can take about 30 minutes to do. Drain the water and let it cool. Now you refrigerate the salted pork. For the skin, you slice this into thin strips. Roll into circle rolls and tie them off with butcher twine. You should have 4-5 of these when you’re done.

Cooking the ham hocks:

Take the ham hocks and cubed pork and dry them off with a paper towel. You will need a large casserole dish, large enough to put the ham hocks and diced pork shoulder. Into casserole dish, you put your duck fat and heat it up on the stovetop. Add half of the pork cubes and brown them on all sides. Do this to the remaining pork cubes. Now you will do the same for the ham hocks until they are golden brown. Take these out for the next step.

At this next stage, you add your carrots and onions for 7 minutes until they are cooked. These can be removed for the next part of this process. Now you place the pancetta so that these brown-up lightly. Put onto a plate and then put in the prosciutto, the tomato, and the garlic and cook for 1 minute. After this, you add the broth and the bouquet of Garni, cubed pork shoulder, Ham hocks, and tied skin rolls.

You can now bring the entire mixture to a boil. After this, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a casserole lid. Let this mixture cook on low heat for 1 hours. It’s not a bad idea to stir it occasionally.

Cook your beans:

This is the easiest part of cooking this epic dish. Now all you need to do is drain your soaked beans and put them into a boiling pot with water. Boil them for 3 minutes and then transfer them to the casserole dish. That’s where they can simmer for the next 1 hour to be nice and soft. After that, you let the entire casserole dish cool-off and then refrigerate overnight.

Prepping the Cassoulet:

After you take the dish out of the fridge, let the fats return to room temperature. Scoop-off as much as you can from the top and save this for later. You need to save at least ¼ cup of fat that’s used later. Now the task of taking out the prosciutto, ham hocks, meat cubes, pancetta, and beans is needed. For the ham hocks, the meat is removed and the bones are thrown-out. Be sure to remove any excess gristle, and set aside any pork skin rolls for later.

Items like the garlic and bouquet are removed but save the garlic for later too. All the meat is cut into fork-sized pieces. Leave the remaining liquid inside the casserole dish until the next step.

Prepping the salted pork and garlic:

There is also the salted pork that has been in the fridge. This is cut into little pieces and added to a food processor. Now add the garlic cloves into that as well. Be sure to remove the skins. This is then made into a fine paste. The casserole dish is heated-up to a simmer and the salted pork and garlic paste are mixed into these juices. This cooks for 15 minutes on low heat. Then you add all of the sliced meats into this mixture.

Prepping the duck confit:

In a separate baking pan, you need to lay the duck confit legs for baking. Cook them long enough so they are heated enough to remove the meat. Take off the meat and throw out the bones. You can remove the skin and slice these into little strips. You should also cut the meat into small chunks.

Prepping the Cassole:

The Cassole is the most important step of this recipe. It’s designed as an earthenware cooking vessel that makes this dish work so well. First, you add the strips of rolled fat and lay these on the bottom of the Cassole dish. These need to be fat-side down and add the liquid mixture with the beans onto the bottom layer. On top of this, you add the duck confit over the top of this. Then add another layer of liquid and beans over the duck.

You can then add the last 2 cups of chicken broth and season it with salt and pepper. Also, add 2 tbsp of the skimmed fat that was removed earlier. This is then cooked in the oven for 1 hours at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepping the sausage:

In a separate skillet, you heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Cook the sausage until it gets brown all over. These can then cool and get sliced into 3-inch chunks. These will be transferred to the Cassole soon enough.

The final Cassole preparation:

The oven temperature needs to be reduced to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The skin on the bottom of the Cassole needs to be mixed into the rest of the meats and liquids. Add the sausages where you want to place them and add another 2 tbsp of concentrated reserve fat on top. The very last step is to generously add the bread crumbs over the top. This is baked for 1 more hour until the bread crumbs are golden brown and crisp.

After this remove it from the oven and let cook for 20 minutes. With all the hard work that’s done, this French-style Cassoulet is well-worth the hard work.

Next up:

Ratatouille Daube (Marinade in red wine)

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