Without, question Julia Child’s Coq au Vin recipe is absolutely the best. But this recipe, Julia’s Easy Coq au Vin, has made the earlier labor intensive recipe now deliciously simple!
You can never go wrong with any of Julia Child’s recipes that she, Simone Beck and Louise Bertholle worked so diligently on in their book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I have loved this cook book forever because the fabulous flavors of these wonderful dishes really can’t be beat. They’re sophisticated and yet simple at the same time. My only problem with her recipes is the time it takes to make them.
But even in this fast paced life we all have today, there’s really nothing better than a perfectly made recipe with equally perfect ingredients and seasonings.
So using the same ingredients, I have only changed the cooking instructions on Julia’s original Coq au Vin recipe – her signature chicken dish – that’s layered with flavors of bacon, onions, mushrooms, carrots, butter, tomato, burgundy wine, beef consommé and thyme.
I had met her years ago. It was at a book signing for her book, In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs. She was an absolutely amazing person with an incredible sense of humor. I love her quote, “Every woman should have a blow torch.” Of course, how else could you make a perfect crime brûlée – her favorite?
She was also very casual when she was in the kitchen on her PBS show which I think was filmed live. When she messed up, she patted everything back together again and often said with a matter-of-fact smile in her breathy voice , “What goes on in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.”
So, I really don’t think she would mind that I’m turning her wonderful Coq au Vin into something so easy that it basically cooks itself. She even admitted herself that cookbooks really should just a guide book to cooking. She said that it was important to “continue to make those recipes your own.”
So, let’s make it.
Ingredients for Julia’s Easy Coq au Vin
- Sea salt
- Pearl onions
- Beef consommé
- Red wine
- Tomato paste
How to Make Julia’s Easy Coq au Vin
Wherever I use a Crockpot, I’ve always found that it’s important to add an additional depth of flavor to the dish by caramelizing the protein and vegetables first before adding them to the Crockpot. And to keep things simple with less clean up, I only use one frypan for the job.
So, in this Coq au Vin, begin by bringing the frypan to medium high heat and add the diced bacon. You will want to cook this about 4-5 minutes to give the pieces a slight crisp.
Then add the bacon pieces, leaving the fat behind in the frypan, to the Crockpot turned on low heat.
Next, salt and pepper both sides of the chicken pieces then sprinkle each side with a little flour. I like to use Wondra, because it’s a very fine flour and doesn’t clump like regular flour does.
Once again bring the heat up to medium high in the same frypan with the bacon grease and add the seasoned and floured chicken pieces. Cook until they are browned, about 3 minutes on each side.
Then add the chicken pieces on top of the bacon pieces to the Crockpot.
Then once again in the same frypan add butter and bring the heat up to medium high. When the butter begins to bubble add in the mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions. Don’t worry about crowding the pan. What we’re looking for here is just a slight caramelization.
This will take about 4-5 minutes as you stir the vegetables. Then add them to the Crockpot on top of the chicken.
Finally, add the beef consommé, the wine, tomato paste and a bundle of thyme. Cover and cook 6-8 hours.
When your ready to serve remove the thyme and place the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Add the vegetables and ladle the sauce over the top.
FAQ’s On This Recipe
What type of chicken pieces would you recommend?
Whatever you like – thighs, wings, breast or drumsticks. I used thighs and wings, but drumsticks are often used as well. And to save calories you might prefer breasts.
What kind of wine should I use?
Julia always said, use a wine that you would drink. Something like a burgundy or a Cabernet would be fine.
I hate wasting a whole can of tomato paste when I just need 1 Tbsp. Can I leave it out or substitute something else?
Yes, you can leave it out. It will still be very good without it. The tomato paste just adds another depth of flavor.
Can I just add the ingredients to the Crockpot without browning them first?
I wouldn’t recommend it for a few reasons. the bacon really needs to be rendered of its fat to add extra flavor to the chicken. Plus the browning of the chicken gives it a nice golden brown crust. And the caramelization of the vegetables really adds flavor.
Can I just add dried thyme instead of fresh?
Sure you can. I would say about 1/2 Tsp of dried thyme would flavor
Julia's Easy Coq au Vin
- 3 Strips Bacon
- 1 Lb Chicken pieces
- 2 Tbsp Flour Prefer Wondra
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt Prefer Himalyan Pink Sea Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Lb Mushrooms Washed and trimmed
- 2 Large Carrots Peeled and diced
- 1/2 Lb Pearl Onions Peeled
- 1 10 oz can Beef Consomme
- 1 Cup Red Wine Burgundy or Beaujoais
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 3 Stems Thyme
- In a frypan over medium high heat, add the diced bacon an cook until bacon is slightly crisp and is renderded of its fat, about 4-5 minutes.
- Leaving the fat in the frypan, remove the bacon bits to a large Crockpot turned to low.
- Nest salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides, then sprinkle with flour.
- In the same pan that you cooked the bacon, bring the temperature up to medium high and add the seasoned and floured chicken pieces. Cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes on both sides. Then add the chicken on top of the diced bacon in the Crockpot.
- Add 2 Tbsp of butter to the same frypan that you cooked the chicken in and bring the heat once again up to medium high heat. When butter sizzles add the mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions. Cook until slightly caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the vegetables to the Crockpot on top of the chicken.
- Add the beef consomme, wine and tomato paste. Then top with the thyme sprigs. Cover and cook 6-7 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove the thyme and place the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Add vegetables and ladle sauce over the top.
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