A Refined Signature

Chicken is the star in David Gilbert’s classic French dish


Photograph by Joe Vaughn

“Coq au Vin is a signature dish in French cuisine,” says chef David Gilbert of Marais Restaurant in Grosse Pointe. “It represents our style and philosophy. The chicken is the star of the dish, while the red wine brings elegance and richness. The idea of using the highest quality of ingredients along with refined techniques makes this one of my favorite dishes.” 

Coq au Vin  (Serves 4-6)


1 6-pound chicken, cut into pieces 
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 
30 pearl onions, peeled
8 ounces wild mushrooms
2 bottles dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
1 medium onion, large diced
2 medium carrots, large diced
2 stalks celery, large diced 
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sprigs fresh thyme


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add pearl onions and sauté until lightly brown. Remove onions and set aside. Brown the chicken on all sides until golden brown. Transfer it to an 8-quart cast-iron Dutch oven. 

Add mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of butter to the sauté pan. Sauté until moisture is removed from the mushrooms. Remove from pan and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Deglaze the pan with 1 cup red wine. Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme. Add the remainder of the wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Place the Dutch oven with the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Once cooked, remove chicken from Dutch oven. Strain the liquid in a colander to remove the cooked vegetables. Return the sauce to the pot and place over medium heat and reduce by about ¹/ 3. This should take about 30 minutes. 

Add the pearl onions and mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Add the chicken and serve. 

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