White Wine Coq Au Vin (2024)

Coq au vin ("chicken in wine") is one of those classic full-on comfort foods that are so good it's difficult, once you've had it, to imagine a time before it existed. The dish is a staple all over the French countryside, where there are dozens of regional variations, but it took Julia Child and her iconic cookbook to popularize it here in the states.

For those who have and loveDutch ovens, there may be no more perfect dish to make it one than a pot of coq au vin, which can simmer away on the stove, and then in the oven for hours, making the house smell amazing, before coming to the table for a Sunday supper.

Julia Child popularized using a deep red Burgundy wine, which gives the dish a vibrant color and a deeper, darker flavor. But here we're recommending a dryer white wine for a dish that's every bit as rich but just slightly less formidable. The French have been known to make this dish with every kind of wine possible, from effervescent Beaujolais nouveau to sparkling Champagne. Feel free to experiment and try it several ways. It's hard to miss!

What's the meaning of coq au vin?

This French country dish, which translates literally to "co*ck (or rooster) in wine" was a dish borne primarily of necessity. On farms, where nothing is wasted, when it was time to cookanolder rooster, you couldn't simply roast it: the meat was too tough. So farmers began to simply braise it in the most flavorful liquid they had at hand, which was typically a bottle of wine.

Luckily, you can make this dish with any poultry, and the results are fantastic.

What do the French eat with coq au vin? What did Julia Child serve?

Travel to France and order the dish in any restaurant (or be lucky enough to try a home-cooked version) and you'll likely find that the side dishes are as varied as the recipe itself. However, many restaurants will serve it over buttered noodles, similar to Beef Stroganoff, or occasionally over a bed of mashed potatoes.

Julia Child recommended it with a side of parsleypotatoes and buttered green peas ("if you want something green").

We'd highly recommend it with anything starchy, from rice, to pasta, to potatoes, but especially a nice crusty loaf of bread, which lets everyone sop up the delicious sauce that the dish has cooked in.

Does the alcohol cook off when you cook with wine?

While many chefs over the years have claimed that the alcohol cooks off in any kind of wine dish, recent studies have shown that it doesn't. However, even in a dish such as this, which calls for an entire bottle of wine, a diner would become full far sooner than she or he would feel the effects from eating a sauce.

If you're serving someone who is concerned about even the smallest amount of alcohol in their food—which is okay!—you can still make this dish. Nonalcoholic wines are now much more widely available, and can easily be substituted. Additionally, you can simply make this with a similar amount—just over 3 cups—of chicken stock, instead.

Tried this recipe? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!

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6 - 8 serving(s)
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 2 tsp.

    olive oil

  • 4 oz.

    pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1

    (3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lb.

    cremini mushrooms, quartered

  • 2

    medium onions, chopped

  • 2

    leeks (white and light green parts only), halved and sliced

  • 2

    cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tbsp.

    all-purpose flour

  • 1

    (750-milliliter) bottle dry white wine

  • 1/2 c.

    chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp.

    Dijon mustard

  • 6

    sprigs thyme

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1/4 c.

    fresh tarragon, chopped


    1. Step1Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, skin side down, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to plate.
    2. Step2Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions, leeks, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown and tender, 8 to 9 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add wine, stirring constantly. Add stock, mustard, thyme, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer.
    3. Step3Return pancetta and chicken (skin sides up) to pot; cover and transfer to oven. Cook until chicken is fork-tender and cooked through, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Serve topped with tarragon
White Wine Coq Au Vin (2024)


What white wine goes with coq au vin? ›

On the flip side, a white Burgundy (Chardonnay) with its creamy, bright citrus notes would be a lovely choice, as would a Sauvignon Blanc from the Sancerre region in France's Loire Valley. It's grassy, citrusy notes would perfectly pair with the Coq Au Vin's herbal savoriness.

What is a good substitute for wine in coq au vin? ›

You can substitute tomato juice or tomato sauce for the red wine when making coq au vin. Make sure to dilute the tomato juice or sauce with equal parts of water to get the right flavor balance. You can also add a small amount of red wine vinegar to mimic the taste of actual red wine.

Is coq au vin red or white wine? ›

Coq au Vin is the well known French stew where chicken pieces are braised in a luscious, glossy red wine sauce with bacon, mushroom and onions. Like Beef Bourguignon, the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity: remarkably few ingredients and simple process with results fit for a king – or queen!

How much alcohol is left in coq au vin? ›

If you want to minimize alcohol content, choose a recipe such as coq au vin, which is chicken braised in red wine sauce, rather than a flamed dish. These dishes contain as much as 75 percent of the original alcohol after the flames go out.

What are examples of dry white wine? ›

What makes white wine "dry"? Dry white wine is a blend of white grapes fermented until all the sugar is gone. It is typically available in the following varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscadet, Albariño, Pinot Grigio, Soave, Picpoul, and Grenache Blanc.

What would Julia Child serve with coq au vin? ›

Coq au vin is traditionally made with mushrooms, lardons (or bacon), and pearl onions. I've also added carrots to the recipe below. Julia Child suggested serving coq au vin with a side of potatoes or salad.

Why does my coq au vin taste bitter? ›

If your Coq au Vin tastes bitter, it could be due to over-reducing the wine or burning the garlic. Ensure you're using good quality wine and adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly to prevent bitterness.

Is Cabernet Sauvignon OK for coq au vin? ›

Best red wines for coq au vin

I don't think Cabernet Sauvignon is the best choice for this dish, because it often contains more tannins that don't taste great in the sauce.

Does coq au vin need brandy? ›

A coq au vin is a classic French stew in which chicken is braised slowly in red wine and a little brandy to yield a supremely rich sauce filled with tender meat, crisp bits of bacon, mushrooms and burnished pearl onions.

Can you cook with sauvignon blanc? ›

This vino variety is citrusy and herbaceous, with a racier flavour than other crisp white wines. The acidity alone makes Sauvignon Blanc one of the best white wines to cook with poultry, seafood or anything rich and creamy.

What to mix with chardonnay to make it taste better? ›

To make Chardonnay Sangria, simply mix Chardonnay with chopped fruits like apples, oranges, and strawberries, add a splash of orange liqueur, and let it chill for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve it over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint for an extra burst of freshness.

What is the best wine to use for coq au vin? ›

The traditional recipe involves preparing this dish with red wine (even though variants using white wine and yellow wine exist). So aim for a lively red wine with silky tannins and spicy hints, such as a full-bodied Beaujolais or a southern wine from Provence or Languedoc.

Can an alcoholic eat coq au vin? ›

The science is unmistakable: alcohol is still present in food after preparation and cooking. Even after long periods of heating, trace amounts of alcohol remain, which could adversely affect a recovering alcoholic.

What to eat with coq au vin? ›

Classically, boiled or mashed potatoes are served with it, but I think spätzle, noodles, or a creamy potato gratin work better. In the old days, an old rooster was used. I like using a younger chicken and only braising for 45 minutes or so.

What drink goes well with coq au vin? ›

Serve hot. This recipe suggests cooking with a red Burgundy (Pinot Noir), which is the ideal red to also drink with this meal. The dark, earthy, nuanced fruit perfectly compliments the savory mushrooms and smoky bacon notes, while the bright acidity counters the rich, herbal sauce.

What white wine goes best with chocolate? ›

Chocolate with white wine

Yet there's always room for experimenting. Sauvignon Blanc can be an ideal match for rich, creamy, and buttery chocolate. It refreshes the palate and provides some relief to the creaminess.

What pairs well with vin Doux Naturel? ›

Vins Doux Naturels

For example, they pair perfectly with sweet and sour or savory-sweet dishes of Indian, Thaï or Chinese inspiration. They are also cheese platter and dessert favorites.

Can you cook with Sauvignon Blanc? ›

This vino variety is citrusy and herbaceous, with a racier flavour than other crisp white wines. The acidity alone makes Sauvignon Blanc one of the best white wines to cook with poultry, seafood or anything rich and creamy.


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