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 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.
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The Best Wine of 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 in 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.
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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 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 tbsp 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 tsp whole black peppercorn
- 2¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves, (minced)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup cognac or brandy
- 7 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz cremini mushrooms, (sliced)
- 10 oz pearl onions, (peeled)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- a pinch of sugar
- salt/pepper , (to taste)
To Thicken the Soup - Beurre Manie:
- 2½ tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 2½ tbsp flour
- Place the chicken and all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or ziplock. Make sure the wine covers the chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
- Remove the marinated chicken pieces and vegetables from the marinade. Pat them dry with paper towels until very dry. Keep them in separate plates/bowls.
- Strain the wine marinade sauce with a fine mesh strainer. Skim off the scum on the surface of the broth, including black peppercorn, thyme, and bay leaf. In a sauce pan, simmer the sauce over medium heat. Cook until the liquid is reduced in half. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, add 1tbsp of oil. Cook lardons over medium-low heat until the fat has rendered, and lardons are golden and crisp about 4-8 minutes (depending on the thickness). Keep the grease in the pan. Transfer the lardons to a paper-towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- In the same Dutch oven, heat the lardon fat or grease over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, cook the chicken, skin side down until well browned for about 3-5 minutes each side. Don't overcrowd the pot! Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the marinated onions and carrots. Cook and stir often for 6 minutes, add minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add cognac/brandy, cook, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the cognac has evaporated and reduced at least in half.
- Add the reduced wine marinade sauce, browned chicken, chicken broth, half of the crispy lardons, 7 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf into the Dutch oven, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Transfer the pot to the oven, covered and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink.
- While you're waiting, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions, a pinch of salt, and sugar. Lower the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until caramelized, shaking the pan occasionally. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add the remaining lardons, stir for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the cooked chicken and vegetables to a big plate. Strain the broth with a fine-mesh strainer. Discard all the garnish and to skim off the scum on the surface of the broth.
- Put the strained broth back into the Dutch oven, bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add salt/pepper if needed. Stir in the beurre manie ( 2½ tablespoons butter + 2½ tablespoons flour), continue cooking and stirring for about 7 minutes or longer to reduce the liquid.
- Add the chicken and vegetables back into the pot, simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, pearl onions, and crispy lardons. Bring to a boil and as soon as it boils, turn off the heat. Serve and enjoy with toasted french baguette slices.
- 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