Can You Have le Coq Without le Vin?

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Is there anything that can be substituted for wine or cooking wine? There is a recipe that I would like to try — coq au vin — and it calls for wine. So is there anything non-alcoholic I could use instead of the wine?

We're often game to help people find substitutes for unwanted ingredients, but there are times when their goals are simply impractical. If, for instance, the offensive ingredient is prominently featured in the name of the recipe, we assume the ingredient is going to be pretty critical to the successful completion of the recipe. Rice pilaf, for instance, is not really going to work without rice. Devilled eggs are not going to be a culinary triumph without the eggs. And coq au vin (chicken — or more precisely rooster — in wine) is not really possible without the chicken or the wine.

There are indeed many liquids that can substitute for wine or cooking wine in certain recipes. Juice, stock, or water can often fill in. But when the wine is a primary ingredient, you can't just ditch it in favor of some other liquid. If the wine is objectionable, we'd move on to another stewed chicken dish that doesn't require wine, or uses such a small amount that the substitution of juice, stock, or water wouldn't harm the dish.