Coq au Vin
(Cockerel in Red Wine)

Coq au vin (French: "cockerel in wine") is a French fricassee of rooster cooked with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. Older roosters are traditionally used because they contain a lot of connective tissue, which creates a richer broth when cooked.

Various legends through history trace 'coq au vin' to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar.

The dish is not documented until the early 20th century, though there is no doubt it existed as a rustic country dish long before that.

This recipe for Coq au Vin is supposed to come from Burgundy.

It is well worth the effort, and you can taste the difference from the jars you can buy at the supermarket.

Top Tip Marinate the cockerel overnight in the wine and herbs to tenderize the meat, or if you think ahead, the longer the better.

serves:- 4, preparation time:- 10 mins, cooking time:- 4hours ish


  • 2kg or 4lb of capon, free range capon, jointed
  • 150g or 5ox of streaky bacon, cut into cubes
  • 20 small onions or shallots
  • 125g or 4 oz of butter
  • half a glass of brandy
  • 1 litre of red burgundy wine
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 200g or 7oz of small mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • garlic croutons


  1. After marinating the cockerel overnight in the wine and herbs, take out the capon.

  2. Fry the capon, bacon and onions with half the butter in a large pan.

  3. When they start to brown, flame with the brandy, pour on the red wine with the bouquet garni, garlic, salt and pepper.

  4. Now, bring to the boil, add the sugar, cover and simmer for at least 3 hours, or until the capon is tender.

  5. When the capon is ready, remove and keep warm, get rid of the bouquet garni and the garlic.

  6. Cook the mushrooms in some of the butter and add them to the sauce, simmer for a few minutes.

  7. Make a 'beurre manie' with the remaining butter and flour and add to the sauce little by little, stir till the sauce thickens.

  8. Pour the sauce over the capon and garnish with the garlic croutons.

  9. Serve with a nice bottle of wine.

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