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What Is Coq Au Vin Jaune?

Hearty coq au vin jaune is typically eaten in the winter.
Morels are typically used to make coq au vin jaune.
White button mushrooms can be used in coq au vin jaune, although morels are preferred.
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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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Coq au vin jaune is a variation on the traditional coq au vin. A dish that typically entails some combination of red wine, mushrooms, braised chicken, onions, salted pork fat, and seasonings, coq au vin is one of the most widely known French-inspired dishes. Coq au vin jaune is a similar dish, made with yellow or white wine instead of red. Technically, coq au vin jaune is prepared using vin jaune wine, which is usually found in the French region of Jura. More often than not, however, amateur and experienced chefs use any white or yellow wine that’s available.

This dish is typically known as a stew or casserole. Because of its typical hearty flavor, coq au vin is traditionally served in the winter. When made with white wine, however, the dish may be transformed into a lighter spring or summer dish. The lighter color and lighter, sweeter taste of coq au vin jaune makes it an easy choice for warm summer nights.

Vin jaune is often compared to sherry due to its sweet, fruity taste. It is made from the Savignon grape. Because it is quite pricey and fairly hard to come by, a plain white wine may be substituted in the coq au vin jaune recipe. If feasible, many chefs will use a cheaper wine for the majority of the dish, topping it off with a small glass of traditional vin jaune near the end of its cooking time.

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Another important element of coq au vin jaune that varies from the standard coq au vin is the addition of morels. These mushrooms are highly sought after and can be quite expensive. As the specific fungus doesn’t grow everywhere, having the morels picked and shipped within one day is a very pricey undertaking. Using standard mushrooms in coq au vin jaune is acceptable, though the taste and aroma will be slightly off.

The meatiest element of this dish is the chicken. This poulty is traditionally braised when used in any coq au vin. Because it is marinated, seared, and sauteéd, the chicken picks up a distinctive smoky flavor. After the chicken is seared, it is tossed in the pot with the additional ingredients. Occasionally, carrots, garlic, and brandy are added, among other ingredients. Both standard and coq au vin jaune are finished with a bay leaf garnish.

Like most traditional French dishes, coq au vin is paired with a drinking wine to be enjoyed during dinner. To enjoy the meal to the fullest, chefs and French cuisine experts recommend serving the dish with wine. A red wine is typically paired with traditional coq au vin, while a white wine would likely be paired with coq au vin jaune.

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