A Fun, Fresh Take on a French Classic

Outdoor BBQs and parties are always such fun in the Summer, especially when you have the long weekend!

Hubby and I hosted an intimate gathering with a few close friends for a Pre-4th of July this evening. We decided to do a “French” take on our BBQ, since we all love French food.

We made Rachel Khoo’s “Brochettes au Coq au Vin” (Coq au Vin on Skewers). We knew that my French BFF would shudder and lecture us as to why this was not the Coq au Vin. However, Brochettes au Coq au Vin is a fun, fresh take on the French classic. We have all of the elements of the Coq au Vin, deconstructed on a skewer and revitalized as a red wine dipping sauce.

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Rachel Khoo’s Brochettes au Coq au Vin (Coq au Vin on Skewers)
Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen, By Rachel Khoo
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes + 4 hours – Overnight (Resting time)
Servings: 8 (2 Skewers per Person)


-For the Marinade:
-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
-1 onion, finely chopped
-2 tbs butter
-4 sprigs of thyme
-3 bay leaves
-2 cups of red wine

-8 boneless chicken thighs (or boneless chicken breasts), cut into large chunks
-smoked bacon (5 oz)
-2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
-8 baby potatoes
-8 small pearl onions, peeled
-1 tbs red wine vinegar
-1 tbs cornstarch
-1 tbs sugar
-salt and pepper
-8 small mushrooms
-1 tbs olive oil
-8 skewers (if they’re made of bamboo, soak them in water for at least 1 hour)


  1. Prepare the marinade. Stir fry the chopped onions and garlic in butter until they’re golden brown. Add the thyme and bay leaves, and give them a stir. Let everything cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and leave to cool.
  2. Cut the chicken and smoked bacon into large chunks, and place them in a large plastic container. Pour the cold marinade into the container. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight. (If pressed for time, you can let it marinate for at least 4 hours).
  3. Carefully take the chicken and bacon out from the marinade. Grab a small-medium sized bowl, and place the sieve on top of it. (If your sieve doesn’t cover the entire bowl, then hold the sieve above the bowl). Pour the marinade into the sieve through the bowl. Take 1 1/4 cups of the marinade, and pour into a small pan. Set it aside. Put the carrots, potatoes and onions into a large pan of cold, sailed water. Bring to a boil, and let it boil for 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables into a colander, and run them under cold water for 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. On a high heat, reduce the marinade by half. Add the red wine vinegar, and give a it a quick stir. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and water, and then pour and whisk that into the marinade. Let the marinade boil until it reaches a thick consistency (like heavy cream), about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, and season with salt and pepper for taste. Cover, and turn off the heat. Set it aside, and keep it warm until needed.
  5. My favorite part: Assemble the skewers. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating with the bacon, onions, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Brush with olive oil on both sides before cooking on the BBQ (or griddle pan). Place each skewer of goodies onto the BBQ or griddle pan, and let it sit for 5 minutes, turning regularly until the meat is fully cooked. If using chicken breast, check more carefully to not let it overcook. To ensure that the chicken is cooked, cut a piece open – the juices should run clear, not pink or red.
  6. Serve with the Coq au Vin on skewers with the sauce. Add any sides of your choice to go with this main dish. We threw some corn on the cob on the BBQ to have as a side.


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My French BFF was appalled that we made “Coq au Vin on Bamboo Sticks.” But after one, two, three bites with the red wine sauce, she waved her flag for surrender. She could not believe that she was actually, literally eating Coq au Vin, and how delicious it was.

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We all felt that instead of eating Coq au Vin from a bowl, we were eating it off a skewer! The marinade of the meat really made a difference. Since I had let it sit overnight, we could really taste the flavors of the aromatics, herbs and wine. Then once we dipped it into the red wine sauce and took a bite,  we got that extra boost of the rich, deep flavor from the wine. The key is to dip the meat and veggies into the red wine sauce every time before you take a bite so that you will constantly savor and have Coq au Vin. Plus the flavors will stay on your mouth!

Rachel Khoo’s Coq au Vin on Skewers is not only fabulous for the 4th of July but for any Summer BBQ! You can find her recipe from her book, The Little Paris Kitchen. You can also find it from Eat, Little Bird at http://eatlittlebird.com/2012/05/06/coq-au-vin-skewers/. Happy Eating!


All images and content © 2016 Carol Vu, unless otherwise indicated.


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