Coq au Vin: Everything you need to know (including wine substitutes)


Coq au vin is a classic French dish of chicken simmered in red wine, often with mushrooms and lardons or bacon. The story goes that the dish was popular among French peasants because the long cooking time helped make a tough, old rooster tender.

 The sauce is really where the magic happens when you get help in cooking  from foodnetwork.

  • First, onions and garlic are sautéed in butter until softened, and then flour is added to create a roux.
  • Next comes red wine and chicken stock, reduced and thickened by the roux.
  • The most important flavor components are added next: tomato paste (which adds body), thyme (for herbal flavor), and bay leaves (which add woodsy flavor).


One final secret ingredient rounds out the sauce: a little bit of brandy or cognac, which adds brightness and complexity to the finished dish? Be sure to use flavorful red wine — pinot noir is traditional — and choose free-range chicken for the best quality meat.

  1. Coq au vin is a classic French dish made by stewing chicken in red wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), mushrooms, and optionally garlic.
  2. The wine is typically a young Burgundy, but Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux, and many other French wines can also be used.
  3. Coq au vin is traditionally a slow-cooked dish that takes several hours to cook, but more modern preparations can eliminate the time required for traditional recipes.

Coq au Vin (pronounced "coke ah vahn") is a French classic that translates as "rooster (or chicken) in wine" and is one of the most well-known dishes in French cuisine. This dish is made with chicken or rooster, braised in wine, and served with mushrooms, lardons, and onions. The best part of this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time and kept warm until you're ready to serve it!


Coq au Vin is traditionally made with a rooster that's been stewed long enough to make it tender. Alternately, you can use a more readily available bird like a chicken. The traditional Coq au Vin recipe also uses a whole bird cut into pieces for the best flavor, , but some recipes call for boneless thighs or breasts, which cut down on cooking time as described in cooking nytimes.

The essential feature of Coq Au Vin is that it is cooked in a wine sauce. Therefore, if you cook a dish without red wine, it cannot be called Coq Au Vin. The most common substitute for red wine in cooking is beef stock. Other people replace red wine with white wine or rose wine, depending on their preference.

If you do not want to add alcohol to your dish, you can consider using cranberry juice instead of red wine. Replace all the liquid ingredients of your recipe with cranberry juice, but remember that this will dramatically alter your dish's taste.

The combination of red wine and tomatoes gives this dish its rich flavor. Bacon adds smokiness and helps to render the fat necessary to sauté the mushrooms and other ingredients. Aromatics like onions and garlic add depth. Herbs like thyme bring everything together, while pearl onions offer the perfect pop of sweetness to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes.

The wine substitute that goes best with chicken is usually a strong stock, but I'm not sure what you mean by "nonalcoholic." Do you mean nonalcoholic wine? Or do you tell nonalcoholic supply?

If you're looking for nonalcoholic wine, I will use a good quality stock. Unfortunately, the nonalcoholic wines tend to be sweet and taste like grape juice which isn't particularly suitable for coq au vin.

If you're looking for nonalcoholic stock, then either make your own without the wine or buy a good-quality commercial brand.

But what if you don't want to use red wine? Maybe you're out of it, or perhaps you don't drink alcohol. There are plenty of nonalcoholic red wine substitutes for coq au vin, but they aren't all equal in terms of flavor.


Here are the best substitutes for red wine in the dish:

1) Chicken stock

This is an excellent substitute if you have time to make your stock. In addition, you can infuse flavor into the store with herbs, spices, and aromatics, so you get a great taste without any alcohol.

It's not a perfect solution, however. The finished dish won't have that characteristic dark color that red wine gives it — it will be more golden or brownish because of the chicken skin. You can add some red food coloring if you want to remedy this issue, but that's not a particularly authentic approach!

2) Beef stock

Beef stock provides many of the same benefits as chicken stock. It will give the stew that rich brown color and provide best taste.

The other options to substitute red wine are;

Cranberry juice: Too tart and acidic to be a good substitute.

Red grape juice: Too sweet, not enough tannins.

Vinegar: I've tried red wine vinegar, but it's just too sour. I don't think either cider vinegar or white wine vinegar would work because they are less acidic than red wine and more acidic than cranberry juice. Also, the sourness is too reminiscent of the vinegar taste.

Honey and Water:

Substitute 1/2 cup of honey mixed with 1/2 cup of water for 1 cup of red wine called for in a recipe. This can be used in all cooking recipes that call for red wine. This will not have any alcohol or added sugar like the previous mixture.

Tomato Juice or Tomato Sauce:

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.

Red currant jelly can be used in a pinch as a substitute in many dishes but not as a substitute for coq au vin. The jellied version would not have the same consistency as the wine sauce that makes the dish so delicious. Coq au vin is best left alone because it takes time to make and prepare.

Red wine vinegar:

You can use red wine vinegar, but you'll have to do some substitutions to make it work.

Red wine vinegar is made by allowing red wine to ferment a second time. This causes the alcohol to be converted into acetic acid and water.

While Coq au Vin is perfectly fine without wine, I would recommend using something else in place of the red wine vinegar. It lacks the complexity of a good red wine glass and will also lack some of the umami flavors from the yeast present in the wine.

Suppose you want to stick with an acidic flavor. In that case, there are plenty of other options: cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, tomato juice (and maybe some tomato paste), lemon or lime juice... anything acidic could work. If you are trying to mimic the flavor of red wine vinegar specifically, then you could try adding just a little bit of balsamic vinegar instead.


coq au vin traditional french food


Coq au Vin in UK

Today, most of us are familiar with coq au vin as a main dish made with chicken, mushrooms, and red wine. The modern version of the traditional French word is most popular in the UK, but it can also be found in restaurants worldwide.

There are many different versions of the dish that use either chicken or rooster.

  • Some recipes use bacon or salt pork to give it a rich flavor, while others use butter for a lighter taste.
  • Most recipes call for pearl onions, but you can also use shallots if you prefer. The key ingredient is wine, which gives a traditional coq au vin its distinctive flavor.

Sharing food is the most fundamental way of showing hospitality and friendship. Coq au vin is a dish suitable for sharing, being easy to make and generous enough for everyone to have seconds.

It's also relatively cheap to make, especially if you use an old rooster or hen. The wine adds a touch of sophistication, while the bacon gives it an earthiness and  here are some tips for getting expert in Coq au vin.

Coq au vin is a simple dish, so it makes sense that the French keep it simple with only five ingredients:

  • Chicken, bacon, onion, garlic, and wine. The British take it further, adding mushrooms and sometimes carrots and herbs such as thyme and rosemary.
  • The French flavor their coq au vin with lardons (small cubes of pork fat) or thick-cut smoked bacon which provides flavor and richness.
  • The British use streaky bacon instead of lardons which has a higher fat content and is less meaty – so to make up for this and they use more bacon.
  • Sometimes the British add mushrooms – these are neither traditional nor authentic, but they give the sauce more body and add more flavor.
  • The carrots are another non-French addition – carrots provide a sweetness that helps counteract the wine's acidity in what is essentially a stew.

Coq au vin is a rustic French dish with chicken, red wine, bacon, and mushrooms. Coq au vin is traditionally served with potatoes.

  •  The most common potato dish to serve with coq au vin is boiled or mashed potatoes. Boiled potatoes are the simplest option, but mashed potatoes are also good. You can also serve roasted potatoes, adding more flavor than boiled ones.
  • Other options for accompaniments include egg noodles, brown rice, and wild rice. If you decide to serve your coq au vin with noodles, you may want to skip the mushrooms in the recipe since they can make the dish too heavy.

If you want to add more vegetables to your meal, consider serving green beans or peas alongside your coq au vin. However, if you already have mushrooms in your recipe, you may want to stick with a simple side such as plain boiled potatoes instead of adding more vegetables.

If you have a little more time on your hands, try making a batch of homemade dumplings, which are a delicious accompaniment to coq au vin. They're similar to gnocchi, but they're boiled rather than baked. You mix the dough up and use two spoons to form small balls. You boil chicken stock for about 5 minutes before serving them alongside your coq au vin.

The French classic coq au vin, or chicken braised in red wine, makes a delicious and impressive yet easy weeknight meal.


Here are our favorite side dishes to serve with it:

Buttered Noodles: Noodles are an easy-to-make side dish that goes well with almost any main course. Combining the creamy sauce and the salty cheese elevates simple pasta to a sophisticated meal.

Roasted Potatoes: These potatoes can be roasted simultaneously with your chicken making this dish a one-pan winner. If you want to get ahead, you can burn the potatoes a day or two before and then reheat them in the oven just before serving.

Steamed Rice: Steamed rice is also easy to make and goes well with almost all stews and braises. We like basmati rice because it has a lovely light texture and subtle flavor with rich meats such as beef or duck.

Garlic Bread: Garlic bread is a great way to soak up some of the juices from your coq au vin. We like to rub the bread with garlic cloves for a more intense flavor, but if you're pressed for time, spreadable garlic from a jar will

However, if you're looking for a low-carb side dish to serve with your coq au vin, try green beans, roasted asparagus spears, or steamed broccoli florets.


You can use white wine in place of red.

 It's not quite the same flavor, but it will still be delicious. The difference is that red wine tends to have more tannin, which adds a bitter flavor to the sauce. This can be nice when paired with rich, savory food like Coq Au Vin, but also quite acidic.

On the other hand, white wine is less acidic and doesn't have as many types of tannin. However, it still has some acidity, which you'll want for this dish. Without any acidity at all (as would happen if you used water or broth), you'll lose some of that "pucker" effect that helps cut through the meat's richness and make it more appealing to eat.





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