What is Coq Au Riesling?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 June 2018
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Coq au Riesling is a variation on the classic, traditional French stew called coq au vin or “chicken with wine.” In the traditional dish, the wine used is typically a red wine, and a whole chicken is often cooked and then carefully taken apart so that only the meat of the chicken remains in the dish. A typical coq au Riesling recipe is somewhat simpler and may only use chicken thighs to keep the meat moist and tender even with lengthy cooking. Coq au Riesling also typically features its namesake wine, a white wine, and may also forgo the cream typically added to coq au vin.

Someone making coq au Riesling will typically begin with a large pot; a Dutch oven is often used for its heat retention and portability. Put it over heat with a little butter or olive oil in it. Some type of pork fat is then added to this and allowed to fry up and render out the fat as liquid. Bacon can be used, as well as back bacon or salt pork as long as it has a good amount of pork fat. Onions or leeks can then be added to the rendered fat and allowed to cook and soften.


Traditional coq au vin recipes will typically use baby onions that must be individually peeled and placed in the pot, but coq au Riesling recipes often call for a large onion rough chopped, or leeks chopped into small pieces. Depending on the cuts of chicken being used, they should then either be placed in the pot alone to brown the skin, or added with other ingredients if skinless. For coq au Riesling, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are commonly used for their tremendous flavor and tenderness even after long cooking times.

Bay leaves, chopped mushrooms, and the titular wine are then added to the pot, as well as some salt and fresh ground pepper. As the name would suggest, coq au Riesling is typically made with Riesling, a white wine originally from Germany, which can be sweet or dry depending on the preferences of the cook. Other white wines could also be used, and the name kept the same or altered to reflect the change; there have even been some occurrences of coq au Champagne being made.

The coq au Riesling is brought to a boil, and then turned down and allowed to simmer for about a half hour or an hour. Once ready, some cream can be added to thicken the sauce, or it can be withheld and the wine and natural juices of the chicken will primarily make up the sauce. While this stew can be enjoyed alone, it is also commonly paired with some lightly buttered rice or noodles to compliment the chicken and soak up the sauce.



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