How to Make the Ultimate Coq au Vin

Find out how to make the very best coq au vin, an all-time standout in French cuisine! These four tips are sure to help you impress the guests with this bird braised in red wine.

1. Wine Selection

Light red wines are traditional for marinating coq au vin. But try a more robust wine, like a Syrah. Along with its flavour, it will give both meat and sauce a deep crimson tint. A tasty surprise!

2. Smoking Permitted

What’s best, smoked or unsmoked salt pork? We discovered that both work well, so it’s basically a matter of preference. We ended up using the smoked variety. The taste infuses the sauce, giving it greater depth and nuance. Brown it in a cast-iron Dutch oven for the win.

3. Long Marination

We took our cue from civet (a traditional French stew of rabbit or game), where ample marinating time helps to tenderize the meat. Let the chicken soak in the red wine and herbs for 12 hours. This step allows the aroma and colour of the wine to seep right to the bone.

4. Double Reduction

Reduce the liquids in the recipe not once, but twice. The first time will evaporate the alcohol and concentrate the flavours. The second will lightly cook the flour and thicken the sauce.

Want to expand your repertoire? Break out your Dutch oven and try this Italian classic: osso buco.