Sunday, May 22, 2022

Web Extra: Child’s Play

(Almost) Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin

There was only one Julia Child, but here’s a recipe very close to the way she made coq au vin, a classic French dinner anyone can make.


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Optional: ¼ cup brandy
  • 3 strips bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, quartered then thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch piece
  • 4 cloves cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 8 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • Beurre manie, see notes for the options


  • Place chicken, thighs and drumsticks in medium-sized bowl and pour wine, chicken stock, and (if using) the brandy over top. Prep vegetables.
  • Add bacon to large skillet or braiser over medium-high heat. Cook until bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes, then remove from pan with slotted spoon.
  • Remove chicken from wine marinade (save wine) and dry with paper towels. Working in 2 batches if needed, place chicken in pan, skin side down. Sear until golden on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side) then remove from the pan. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon/chicken oil into heatproof dish and set aside.
  • Add sliced onion and carrots to pan and cook until onion is golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic to pan and cook for 1 minute.
  • Push vegetables to side of the pan and add tomato paste (Julia used a flavorful sun-ripened tomato but the paste is a more reliable option these days). Cook tomato paste until fragrant and begins to darken. Pour reserved wine marinade into pan, scraping bottom to remove stuck-on bits.
  • Nestle chicken into the pan and sprinkle thyme over top. Cover pot, turn heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of reserved oil (or use olive oil) into large skillet. Add mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add pearl onions to pot with chicken and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • In small bowl mix together your choice of beurre manie. Remove chicken from pan ten add beurre manie. Stir it into sauce and let thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken back into pan and top with the cooked bacon and mushrooms. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.


Beurre manie options:

  • Traditional beurre manie: 2 tablespoons flour + 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • Paleo and gluten-free beurre manie: 2 tablespoons tapioca starch + 1 tablespoon softened butter


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