Chicken Braised in Red Wine (Coq au Vin)

Coq au Vin is a classic French stew in which an old chicken is braised slowly in red wine and a little brandy to yield a supremely rich sauce filled with tender meat, crisp bits of bacon, mushrooms, garlic, and browned pearl onions. All dark meat gives you a particularly succulent dish without the risk of overcooked white meat. If you would rather use the traditional whole cut-up bird, just add the breasts in the last 30 minutes of simmering. The New York Times has a recipe that introduces croutons to the final dish, a wonderful addition of a nice buttery crunch alongside the soft, simmered meat and vegetables. 

Coq au Vin- French Chicken Cooked in Wine

Coq au Vin- Chicken Cooked in Wine

By replacing the tough old hens of the original dish with today's store bought chicken allows this famous dish to be made with much less effort with no loss of tenderness or flavor. Using dark meat eliminates the risk of breast meat drying out. Do garnish the final dish with the addition of croutons. Serve with buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes, crusty French bread, and a glass of the same wine used for braising the chicken.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: East-Central France, French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Marinating: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large Dutch oven or pot with lid
  • Large frying pan or skillet


  • 3 lb Chicken bone-in thighs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups Dry red wine, preferably Burgundy
  • 8 oz Peeled pearl onions, fresh or frozen
  • 4 oz Bacon or pancetta, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
  • 8 oz Cremini, white, or button mushrooms, quartered with stems trimmed
  • 1 large Onion, roughly diced
  • 2 medium Carrot, cut crosswise into ½ slices
  • 4 medium Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ¼ cup Flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Croutons, buttered (bought or 2 made from 2 pieces white bread with crusts removed.


  • Heavily salt and pepper chicken pieces and place in a sealable plastic freezer bag. Add wine, bay leaf, thyme, and seal, pressing out air. Put aside for at least 2 hours or, preferably, refrigerate overnight.
  • Add bacon to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer cooked bacon pieces to a paper towel.
  • Remove chicken from bag and reserve marinade. Pat dry with paper towels, Working in batches, brown chicken pieces skin side down in hot bacon fat over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer browned chicken pieces to a large plate.
  • Add onion, carrot, and ¼ tsp salt. Cook 7-8 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste for 1 minute, add flour, and cook 1 more minute. Add wine marinade and reduce to 1½ cups, 12-15 minutes.
  • Add reserved chicken with accumulated juices to pot skin side up and partially submerge. Toss in half the cooked bacon. Cover pot and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Remove cover and cook another 15 minutes to thicken slightly. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • While chicken is cooking, cook pearl onions and mushrooms, Add butter and oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes shaking pan occasionally to keep onions from sticking. Push onions to one side and add mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until browned, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe down pan.
  • To make croutons, melt 2 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. When beginning to bubble, add bread triangles and crisp for 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and lightly salt.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to a large serving bowl. Dip croutons in sauce and return to plate. Toss in parsley. Add onions, mushrooms, and remaining bacon to the sauce in the pot. Pour sauce with vegetables over the chicken. Sprinkle any remaining parsley on top. Garnish with croutons and serve.
  • To serve, transfer chicken to a large bowl, pour sauce over, and sprinkle with parsley,

Instant Pot Coq au Vin

  • Note: certain cooking times, ingredients, and measurement that deviate from the classic recipe above will be highlighted in the Instant Pot recipe for 4 below.
  • Vigorously salt and pepper 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick) and place in a zip-lock bag. Add 2 cups white wine and 1 tsp dried thyme to the chicken, seal, and turn over to coat. Set aside or put in refrigerator if not using right away.
  • Select the SAUTE button and when display reads HOT, Add bacon to in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until brown and crisp. Don't over-crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Add mushrooms to pan, lightly salt, and cook until browned, about 6 minutes more.


Calories: 726kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 216mg | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 797mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3790IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

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