Bring the flavors of France into your kitchen with this Coq Au Vin recipe. This chicken stew is so flavorful! It will impress absolutely anyone and make you seem like a Michelin-Starred Chef at home.
Today, I am going to show you how to make the classic French Chicken in Wine Sauce dish, Coq Au Vin with easy ingredients that you can find in your pantry or at local grocery stores.
Serve it with toasted french baguette, rice, egg noodles, couscous, or any grains or starches you have on hand and you will have the most delicious chicken dinner on the table! Also, check out these CHICKEN CHASSEUR (FRENCH HUNTER’S CHICKEN) and FRENCH ONION SOUP recipes!
What is Coq Au Vin
Coq Au Vin aka rooster in wine is a traditional French chicken dish. The chicken is braised with burgundy or red wine, mushrooms, and lardons in one pot.
About This Coq Au Vin Recipe
This hearty wine-marinated chicken stew is loaded with creamy vegetables and fork-tender meat.
The recipe begins on the stove, slowly cook in the oven, and end on the stove. It requires multiple steps but is easy to follow and definitely worth it!
To make Coq Au Vin, you will need a Dutch oven, heavy-based pot, or cast iron braising dish and the following ingredients:
- bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs/legs or a combination of both.
- burgundy or pinot noir
- yellow onion
- pearl onions
- cremini mushrooms
- garlic cloves
- fresh thyme sprigs
- bay leaves
- chicken broth
- black peppercorn
- kosher salt/sea salt
- a pinch of sugar
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
This Coq Au Vin dish will prove that good food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to make.
I intentionally picked an affordable burgundy and cognac and the result was still outstanding. If you have some of those top-shelf and French liquor handy or splurge then please let me know how things turn out!
Now, let’s talk about some of the most important ingredients for Coq Au Vin.
The Best Wine for Coq Au Vin
Burgundy: The standard Coq Au Vin usually called for burgundy but any red wine like Riesling could also be used. In this recipe, I used the Carlo Rossi Burgundy, California that I purchased from Ralph's for around $5.99 per 1.5 L.
Cognac: It is brandy, a spirit made from the distillation of wine made in the Cognac region of France. Cognac is often found to be more expensive than other types of brandy. I used the E&J VS Brandy that I purchased from Target for $9.99 per 750 ml bottle.
Use the Right Meat
You can use either chicken legs or thighs or a combination of both. In this recipe, I used Kirkland air-chilled chicken thighs that I purchased from Costco for only $0.99 per pound.
What are Lardons in Cooking:
Lardons are slab bacon that has been cured with salt. The bacon still has the “lard” on and is sliced into matchsticks.
Lardons are commonly used to add flavors to stews or salads. The best alternative options are pancetta or bacon. In this recipe, I used cubed pancetta that I purchased from Trader’s Joe for $3.99 per 4 oz.
How to Make the Perfect Coq Au Vin
First, let’s talk about preparation. Here are some steps that you need to follow.
- Slice and Chop the Vegetables.
- Marinate. Soak the chicken pieces in red wine, crushed garlic, whole black peppercorn, salt, sliced onion, chopped carrots, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Marinate in the fridge for at least four 12 hours, preferably overnight.
- After marinate. Use a strainer and kitchen tongs to remove the chicken pieces and vegetables from the wine marinade sauce. Keep chicken and vegetables in separate plates/bowls. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and do the same to vegetables. Also, don't forget to strain the wine marinade with a fine mesh strainer to skim off the scum on the surface of the broth. Set aside.
Next, the cooking process.
- Reduce Wine. Start with reducing the wine marinade sauce first. Place the wine marinade sauce in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to about half the quantity, about ½ cup. Set aside.
- Render Lardons Fat. In a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot, cook lardons/pancetta/bacon over medium-low heat until the fat has rendered, and lardons are golden and crisp. The cooking time is depending on the thickness of the lardons, from 8-15 minutes. When the lardons are done, keep the grease in the pan to sear the chicken and transfer the lardons to a plate. Set aside.
- Brown the Chicken. In the same Dutch oven, sear the chicken skin side down over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan, work in batches if necessary. Overcrowding can prevent food from browning or releasing too much moisture. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Cook the Vegetables. In the same Dutch oven, cook the wine-marinated vegetables until lightly browned for about 8 minutes.
- Deglaze the Pan. Add cognac into the vegetable mixture and cook for about 2 minutes or until reduces in half. Also, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to remove and dissolve any browned food residue from a pan to flavor the broth/sauce.
- Cook in the Oven. Add the reduced wine, broth, half of the crisp lardons, thyme, bay leaf, chicken back into the pot. Bring to simmer then transfer to the oven, covered, and cook for 30-35 minutes.
Now, while you’re waiting,...
- Caramelized the pearl onions. In a large skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add oil and butter. Add pearls onions, season with a pinch of salt and sugar then reduce to heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until caramelized. Shake the skillet occasionally. Transfer the pearls onions to the plate and set aside.
- Cook the mushrooms. In the same skillet, cook mushrooms until browned for about 5 minutes then add the remaining lardons back to the skillet, cook, and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Next, the final steps.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Test the chicken for doneness then remove the fully-cooked chicken thighs and vegetables to a big plate/bowl. After that, carefully strain the broth with a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth to discard all the garnish (thyme, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns) and to skim off the scum on the surface of the broth for a much clearer broth.
- Thicken the Coq Au Vin. Put the broth back into the Dutch Oven, adjust the seasoning with additional salt/pepper if needed, bring to simmer, then adjust the thickness with beurre manie (combine an equal amount of butter and flour mix together). Beurre manie is one of the best ways to thicken a sauce or soup.
- Add the chicken, vegetables, mushrooms, and pearl onions. Once you reach the right consistency, add the chicken, and vegetables back into the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, and pearl onions back to the dutch oven. Add onion and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Storing the Leftover Coq Au Vin:
First, let it cool at room temperature. Store the leftover in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I hope you'll enjoy this Coq Au Vin recipe! If you try this recipe, don't forget to rate and leave a review on the recipe card/comment box below.
Coq Au Vin
- Dutch Oven or Heavy-Bottomed Pot
- A fine-mesh strainer
- Kitchen tongs
- Slotted spoon
- 4 pounds chicken thighs/legs/both, (about 10 pieces) pat them dry with paper towels
- 4 oz lardons/pancetta/bacon , (cubed or diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups burgundy , (or pinot noir)
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 extra large onion , (sliced)
- 2 carrots, (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
- 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves, (minced)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup cognac or brandy
- 7 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz cremini mushrooms, (sliced)
- 10 oz pearl onions, (peeled)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a pinch of sugar
- salt/pepper , (to taste)
Beurre Manie (To Thicken the Sauce):
- 2½ tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 2½ tablespoons flour
- In a bowl, add chicken and all of the marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or up to overnight. Remove the chicken, onions, and carrots from the marinade and pat them dry.
- Strain the wine marinade, skim off the scum, and discard the spices. Simmer the marinade in a saucepan over medium heat until it's reduced in half. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Cook bacon until crisp (4 minutes or longer) then set it aside. Working in batches, brown the chicken in bacon grease over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Set them aside.
- Add the marinated onions and carrots (from step #1). Cook for 6 minutes, stirring often. Cook garlic for 1 minute. Add the brandy and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is reduced in half.
- Add the marinade sauce (from step 2), chicken, broth, half of the crispy bacon, (7) thyme sprigs, (1) bay leaf, and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Cover the pot, continue cooking in the oven for 30 minutes or longer until the chicken is fully cooked.
- While waiting for the chicken to cook, heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions, a pinch of salt, and sugar, cover the pan, cook on low heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally. Transfer the pearl onion to a plate. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add half of the crispy bacon, stir for 1 minute, then set them aside.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a plate. Strain the sauce and discard the spices. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the Beurree Manie (a mixture of softened butter and flour), and continue simmering for 7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the chicken and vegetables back into the pot, simmer for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, pearl onions, and crispy bacon. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat immediately.
- Carlo Rossi Burgundy, California that I purchased from Ralph’s for around $5.99 per 1.5 L.
- E&J VS Brandy that I purchased from Target for $9.99 per 750 ml bottle.
- Kirkland air-chilled chicken thighs that I purchased from Costco for only $0.99 per pound.
- Citterio Pancetta Cubetti from Trader’s Joe for $3.99 per 4 oz.
- Kirkland organic chicken stock from Costco