Coq au Vin de Bourgogne

Gallic Rooster-pride of FranceIn this chilly winter weather I continued to look for ideas for warming, gluten free dishes and my thoughts moved in the direction of one of the most famous traditional dishes of France, a Coq au Vin. According to some legends, the origins of this wonderfully tasty dish may lie in Roman times when a local Gallic chief sent a cockerel across to the Roman army camp and the Romans cooked it in wine and invited the chief to share it with them. Le Coq Gaullois, (Gallic Rooster) is an unofficial symbol of France and is proudly displayed by the French, especially on their national sporting colours. A key element of this dish is the marinating of the cock/chicken for at least 12 hours prior to cooking. Secondly once it has been cooked, allowing the dish to stand for several hours before eating, increases the flavour. There are many variations, the usual ingredients are chicken cooked in red burgundy wine with lardons (thick bacon slices), onions, carrots, mushrooms, herbs and spices. Other regional variations are a Coq au vin Jaune (sweet white wine from the Jura), Coq au vin Riesling from Alsace, Coq Purpre (Purple) with Beaujolais wine. I did the traditional recipe with red wine from Burgundy (Pinot Noir). Therefore the perfect pairing is “La Vignee” Pinot Noir or a Gevrey Chambertin made by Bouchard Pere et Fils.

Ingredients for 8 guests:

  • 1 cock or large free range chicken (about 2.5kgs) or 8 large pieces of chicken
  • 250g Lardons (Bacon pieces)
  • 250g baby mushrooms, cleaned
  • 20 baby onions peeled or 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced in rounds
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 branch of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bouque garni (thyme sprigs, bay leaf, parsley sprigs tied up with string) from t he French Market shop
  • 1 table spoon of black peppercorns
  • 50ml Cognac from the French Market shop in Cape Town
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 25g Butter from the French Market shop in Cape Town
  • 40g of cornflour (maizena) to thicken stock (gluten free option)
  • 1 to 2 bottles of red cooking wine (preferably a Pinot Noir from Burgundy)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 12 slices of stale bread for croutons (optional)


Pairing suggestion – a bottle of Bouchard Pere et Fils Gevrey Chambertin from the French Market in Cape Town


  1. Clean the cock/ chicken and remove giblets. Cut up into pieces if you are using a whole bird
  2. Marinate the cock/chicken the day before cooking. Place the pieces in a large bowl, add the celery, carrots, onions, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, bouquet garni and mix in the cognac.
  3. Cover with the wine
  4. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 12 hours in the fridge or cold place.
  5. Prior to cooking, remove the pieces of chicken and vegetables. Sponge off extra moisture with some paper towel
  6. Strain the marinade through a sieve into another container and keep the strained marinade.
  7. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based saucepan.
  8. Add the pieces of chicken and brown them on all sides over a gentle heat
  9. Remove the chicken pieces and put aside.
  10. Add the bacon pieces and onions, cook gently until lightly golden, stirring continuously
  11. Add the cornflour and stir in well
  12. Add the strained marinade and mix in well
  13. Add the chicken pieces and cover and simmer for at least 1 hour for a chicken and at least 2 ½ hours for a cock as the meat is not as tender. You can also cook the casserole in the oven , at 180 degrees
  14. Add salt and pepper to taste
  15. Cut mushrooms in half or quarter if large, fry lightly in a non stick pan without oil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  16. 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time add the mushrooms to the chicken and continue cooking
  17. Taste at the end for seasoning
  18. If you have sufficient time leave the cooked chicken in its sauce, in a fridge or cool place for up to 12 hours before serving
  19. Shortly before serving, gently reheat the chicken and serve it in a large casserole dish.


Recommended accompaniments saute potatoes, or fried croutons or slices of a crisp baguette to soak up the sauce

Serve with a glass  or more of Burgundian Pinot Noir, Gevrey Chambertin, from Bouchard Pere et Fils.

             Bon Appétit!

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