Traditional recipes

The Wine Julia Child Drank

The Wine Julia Child Drank

The first celebrity chef to rule the TV airwaves, Julia Child, is best known for her French cookbooks and her exuberance for cooking. But there's one often-ignored quality of Child that we think is worth raising a glass: her love of wine.

While most exalt the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Katherine Cole and the Oregonian took a closer look at one particular chapter: "Wines." Child's friend, Pat Pratt, revealed Child's philosophy of wine, food pairings, and celebrating the art of drinking. What Pratt said to the Oregonian:

Child loved white burgundy. In one of Child's more famous quotes, she said, "I would happily die with a bottle of white burgundy in my mouth." But really, Child loved burgundies of all kinds. She served burgundy with pheasant on her 40th birthday; and Child always wanted to try the rare burgundy, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Child also loved sweet wines. And she indulged in some dessert pairings: the Château d'Yquem with the soufflé Grand Marnier, or with crème brûlée.

Child took notes on different wines and grapes she tried. "At every vineyard we visited — in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, and Alsace — Julia and I would always taste one grape from the end of the row. We weren't supposed to, but we did," Pratt said to the Oregonian. While she traveled through Europe and the U.S., she would take notes, and sometimes even labels, of the wines she tried.

Child drank wine with dinner but enjoyed her martinis, too. Martinis before dinner, Pratt noted, turned into the "reverse martini": 2/3 vermouth, 1/3 gin.

Wine, and food, is something to be learned. From Mastering the Art of French Cooking: “Just like becoming an expert in wine — you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford — you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences."

And when in doubt, drink gin. Said one person said at her memorial, "When a sommelier asked her to name her favorite wine, she replied, 'Gin.'"

Chef extraordinaire, oenophile — there's nothing Child couldn't master.

(Photo Modified: Flickr/SimonDoggett)


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


Julia Child's Coq au Vin Chef's Recipe

What? Am I the only one who thought that the wizard behind the curtain was going to be deboning a duck with one hand and whisking a beurre blanc with the other?

If that made absolutely no sense to you, maybe you’re not the world’s biggest Julia Child fan. Maybe you have no idea what Mastering the Art of French Cooking is. Maybe you’ve never even heard of her.

But one bite of this transcendent, Julia Child-inspired, bird braised in red wine and you’ll be all, “bon appetit!” before you know it.

If you don’t share my affinity for history’s most magnificent mother of French cuisine, let me impart on you the roots of my enthusiasm.

My adoration for cooking comes directly from my dad. Though I’ve worked my way through plenty of professional kitchens, owned a catering business, and have gotten to rub spatulas with some of the world’s best chefs—it all begin with a kitchen chair that my dad pulled up to the stove when I was four years old.

His passion for the culinary arts stemmed from his Aunt Annette. And hers? The almighty, ever wonderful, Julia Child.

When I was little, my dad starred in his very own rendition of the movie Julie & Julia.

He would flip open the splattered pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and manifest Julia Child masterpieces out of nowhere like rice soubise and Cornish hens with velvety Bearnaise and gratin Dauphinoise.

Yeah, boxed potato flakes were not a thing in our house.

That being said—the stories of my life that journal all-things Julia Child were written long before I was even born. Now that I’m all grown up (sort of), one of my very favorite riffs on a JC classic is coq au vin.

Directly translated, coq au vin means chicken pieces cooked in red wine. Doesn’t sound so unapproachable after all, does it?

Though chicken seems to traditionally be cooked with white wine (see: piccata, francese, scampi, and so on)—the dry, earthy red in this recipe brings out a rich complexity that you probably didn’t even know chicken was capable of.

As with many French recipes, coq au vin is all about laying flavors. To begin, a smoky undertone of bacon lays the base. Next, the chicken’s skin gets an all-around crisp in the bacon fat bath and the juices are locked in.

The aromatics—sweet carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and shallots—empty out their flavors into the dish. PS. Why shallots and onions? Onions give mild, subtle notes of flavor while shallots offer a sharp, sweet bite that stand front and center.

And just when you thought things couldn’t smell any better, in goes a few heaping tablespoons of rich, concentrated tomato paste and an unremorseful splatter of wine.

Once simmered, a quick thickener of flour and butter (called beurre manié if you feel like getting fancy in front of your friends) is added to produce an even more voluptuous sauce than was already bubbling away in your Dutch oven.

For the finale, the mushrooms are sautéed separately as to not comprise their delicately caramelized exteriors. Another sprinkle of fresh, lemony thyme and you have just conquered coq au vin.


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