Ooh la la! If you’ve never tried Coq au Vin, one bite is all it’s going to take for you to realize why it’s one of the most famous dishes out of France!
Chicken is braised into tender submission in an herb infused red wine gravy, along with veggies and aromatics for good measure.
This is one to keep in your back pocket for special occasions and company nights. Shh, don’t tell them it’s so easy…
What’s the best way to cook chicken? If you ask us, there’s nothing like a low and slow braise in flavorful liquid. The end result always seems to be melt in your mouth deliciousness.
One of our earliest such recipes was another French classic, Chicken Provençal. Since then there have been several other great one’s, like our Braised Spanish Chicken and Italy’s very popular Chicken Cacciatore.
Coq au Vin is one of the iconic braised chicken dishes, and a beautiful example of French cuisine. It’s been one of our favorites for years, and now we’re bringing it to you.
What is Coq au Vin?
Coq au Vin is a rustic French dish featuring chicken braised in wine. In fact, the name literally translates to “rooster with wine”.
Though there may be variations from region to region, most varieties include lardons, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Burgundy wine is the most common braising liquid.
The dish is often associated with Julia Child. She included it in her 1961 book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This helped popularize Coq au Vin in the States, and it is considered one of her signature dishes.
Although many are intimidated by French cooking, Coq au Vin is an extremely simple dish that anyone can cook at home with basic ingredients.
What Wine to Use for Coq au Vin?
This French braised chicken is most commonly made with pinot noir wine from Burgundy, though cooks from different regions often use their local wines.
That being said, any good quality red such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz or malbec will all make a great Coq au Vin.
Coq au Vin Ingredients
- Lardons – This is a fancy word for thin strips of bacon. Cut thick sliced bacon into half inch strips.
- Chicken – You can use any of your preferred cuts, but we highly recommend bone in, skin on thighs.
- Veggies and aromatics – Onions, carrots, mushrooms, pearl onions and garlic.
- Red wine – Today we are using the traditional pinot noir, but feel free to experiment.
- Butter – To sauté the mushrooms and for a beurre manie (mixture of butter and flour).
- Flour – To thicken the sauce.
- Flavor enhancers – Chicken stock, tomato paste, fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
- Parsley – For garnish.
Coq au Vin Recipe
Sear the meats: In a large braiser or dutch oven (we use 7 quart), fry the bacon till crisp. Remove bacon to a plate, and remove all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Dry the chicken with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and add it skin side down to the bacon grease. Sear for about 5 minutes per side, then remove to a plate.
Sauté carrots and aromatics: Add in onion and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add sliced garlic and cook 1 more minute. Push the vegetables to the side and add in tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes till it begins to darken.
Braise: Pour in wine and chicken stock. Stir well to deglaze the pan. Add back in bacon along with thyme, salt and pepper. Combine well, then nestle in the chicken, skin side up. Cover and braise in an oven preheated to 375°F for 45 minutes.
Sauté pearl onions and mushrooms: Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pearl onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet, add sliced mushrooms. Cook till they are softened and a little browned up.
Complete the Coq au Vin: Mash together the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and flour. Stir the mixture into the liquid. Add in mushrooms and pearl onions. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Return the dish to the oven, this time uncovered, and cook 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Julia Child’s original recipe calls for whole cut up chicken. We love thighs for this recipe, as they are juicy and tender.
- Chicken is safe to eat at 165°F. However we cook dark meat to around 185-190°F, as that’s when it’s fall off the bone tender.
- If using chicken breast, you may need to reduce the cooking time, as white meat is best at 165°F, and gets tough if cooked longer.
- Use decent wine. I’m not saying buy a $30 bottle, but don’t buy a $3.99 one either.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, replace with 1 tsp of dried thyme.
- Julia Child’s recipe does not use carrots, however we like them in there.
- Her recipe did include cognac. We find coq au vin plenty good without it, but if you have some on hand, add in 1/4 cup.
Can I Cook Coq au Vin on Stovetop?
If you’re craving the flavors of this braised chicken without heating up the oven, you can certainly cook it on stovetop. Bring it to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, till the chicken is tender.
If using this method, we recommend removing the chicken skin.
What to Serve with Coq au Vin
The ideal pairing with this rich French stew is Mashed Potatoes. We also love it with some crusty bread, like our No Knead Bread, to sop up that delicious sauce.
If you’re entertaining, it’s nice to serve a salad on the side. It’s hard to beat a classic Caesar Salad.
Leftovers and Storage
Make a big batch and enjoy Coq au Vin for a few days, as it keeps on getting better. Store it in an air tight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
It freezes beautifully too, up to 3-4 months. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat it on the stovetop, adding a dash of water if necessary.
Make yourself feel like a gourmet French chef, and cook this incredibly delicious, but surprisingly easy, Coq au Vin in your own kitchen. This is one dish that’s sure to get you some major rave reviews!
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Coq au Vin, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other iconic chicken dishes of the world!
Indian Chicken Masala
Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Laksa Noodle Soup
Dominican Pollo Guisado
Thai Green Chicken Curry
Chicken Jollof Rice
Coq au Vin
This Coq au Vin recipe, based off of the dish made famous by Julia Child, is a flavorful stew of chicken and veggies braised in red wine. This one's a keeper!
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine (preferably pinot noir)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 10-12 sprigs thyme
- 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 10 pearl onions
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large braiser or dutch oven, fry the bacon till crisp. Remove bacon to a plate, and remove all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and add it skin side down to the bacon grease. Sear for about 5 minutes per side, then remove to a plate.
- Add in onion and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add sliced garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Push the vegetables to the side and add in tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes till it begins to darken.
- Pour in wine and chicken stock. Stir well to deglaze the pan. Add back in bacon along with thyme, salt and pepper. Combine well, then nestle in the chicken, skin side up. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
- While the chicken is braising, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pearl onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- In the same skillet, add sliced mushrooms. Cook till they are softened and a little browned up, 8-10 minutes.
- After the initial 45 minutes of baking time, mash together the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter with flour. Stir the mixture into the liquid. Add in mushrooms and pearl onions. Taste and adjust for salt. Return the dish to the oven, this time uncovered, and cook 15 more minutes.
- Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 480Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 186mgSodium 568mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 36g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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