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Coq au Vermouth

A vibrant update on the classic dish.

The traditional French dish coq au vin—chicken and vegetables braised in red wine—exudes wintry comfort. But in her new cookbook, À Table, Paris-based American food writer Rebekah Peppler swaps the typical bottle of Burgundy for the vibrant botanicals of dry vermouth. The result is a brighter dish with “a rich, deeply aromatic sauce abundant enough to serve with as much crusty bread as the heart desires,” writes Peppler. She encourages cooks to “invest in a dry vermouth you would drink on its own over ice or in a cocktail.” Heed the advice, and use the rest of the bottle to mix a batch of drinks while the chicken simmers.


  • 3 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
  • Fine sea salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • 4 oz. lardons or bacon, cut crosswise into 1⁄4-inch strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1- to 1 1⁄2-inch diagonal slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 1⁄2 cups dry vermouth
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted European butter
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Tools:Dutch oven, slotted spoon, large platter


Season the chicken with salt and white pepper.

In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add the lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until very well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lardons to a plate. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer to the pot, working in batches as needed, and cook until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the platter with the lardons.

Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the carrots start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, mushrooms, and thyme sprigs; season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the vermouth and increase the heat to medium-high. Return the chicken (see note) and lardons as well as any juices on the plate to the pot, nestling them into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook, basting occasionally, until the chicken is very tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, transfer the chicken to a platter, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes, then stir in the butter and lemon juice. Once the butter is melted, return the chicken to the pot for a few minutes to rewarm. Season with salt and white pepper as needed. Serve warm. Serves 6.

Note: Using only bone-in dark meat, instead of the classic whole chicken cut into pieces, makes the final dish richer and thicker, and less likely to contain any dry meat. If you prefer to use a whole chicken cut into pieces, add the breasts to the pot about 10 minutes after adding the dark meat.

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