Coq au vin, or chicken braised in red wine, is a relatively simple exercise in the art of French cooking. Expect your efforts to reward you with tender chicken cooked in red wine with vegetables and fresh herbs. Paired with creamy mashed potatoes this makes a delicious dinner and is always a real crowd pleaser of a dish. The slow braise gives this delicious chicken dinner a rich taste.
Not only is your favourite Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or red Burgundy wine great for sipping. You can also use it to make traditional coq au vin, a classic French dish found everywhere from small bistros in France to the fanciest restaurants. You will love this French chicken stew.
Coq au Vin Ingredients
This recipe can be made with chicken thighs or breasts, although thighs are more flavourful and less likely to dry out. You will also need bacon, onion and shallots, garlic, parsley, oregano, tomato paste, butter, flour, red wine, mushrooms, carrots, vegetable stock, salt and pepper, bay leaves, and thyme.
How to Make Coq au Vin
There’s nothing difficult about this delicious French chicken stew recipe. In fact, quite the opposite! Brown the bacon in a pot (large dutch oven) then add the pearl onions, shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
Combine the seasonings and press them into the chicken, then brown the chicken in some oil. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes then add the butter and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and flip it to cover. Give the chicken pieces mixture a few minutes to cook and then add the bacon mixture.
Add the carrots and mushrooms as well as the red wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves and thyme sprigs and simmer for twenty minutes. Then your coq au vin recipe is ready. Wondering what to serve with classic coq au vin? Consider Southern mash or mashed potatoes, green beans, cauliflower mash, olive salad or rice. Bon appetit!
History of Coq au Vin
It’s thought to be one of the traditional recipes goes all the way back to Julius Caesar and ancient Gaul although it didn’t appear in writing until the early 1900s. Poulet au vin blanc (a similar easy chicken recipe from France with chicken and white wine) was published in an 1864 cookbook though. Chicken in red wine is a different but equally delicious version.
Julia Child’s coq au vin is how many people first learned about this exquisite French dish with red wine sauce. Her version is a great coq au vin and so is this one. You are not going to be disappointed if you like chicken stews! You might want to also try another French food beef stew made famous by Julia – beef bourguignon.
Coq au Vin FAQs
This dish is usually made with red wine. Something from the Burgundy region, such as a Pinot Noir, would work well, or you could use something richer such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. More of a white wine fan? Then you might like this chicken saltimbocca recipe. There is also a dish called ‘coq au vin blanc’ which is the same recipe but with white wine. If you want to go this route, try something dry like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.
You will find the flavour of this French chicken stew get even better the next day. In fact, you can keep leftover chicken braised in red wine for up to five days. Reheat it in a pan on the stove.
It is pronounced “coke-o-van” or “cocovan”. Coq au vin literally means “chicken with wine” in French.
In this recipe we used a mix of oyster, baby bella (cremini), and shiitake mushrooms. Button, porcini or chestnut mushrooms would work, too. Many recipes use only button mushrooms, but some other varieties, like oyster mushrooms, will have a more umami to enhance the dish.
Coq au Vin Recipe
Coq au Vin – Chicken Braised in Red Wine
- ½ Pound bacon thick cut, diced
- 15 pearl onions peeled
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 3 Cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper
- ½ Teaspoon parsley
- ½ Teaspoon oregano
- 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ Cup salted butter
- ¼ Cup all purpose flour
- ¼ Cup red wine
- 1 Pound mushrooms oyster, baby bella, and shiitake mix suggested, sliced
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 Cup vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- thyme fresh
- Add bacon to a large pot over medium high heat. Brown for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Next, add pearl onions, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Do not drain the pot and return to the stovetop.
- Combine salt, black pepper, parsley, and oregano seasonings in a small bowl or ramekin and thoroughly season the chicken. Press seasonings into the meat.
- Add olive oil to the pot, then add the chicken breasts. Brown 2 minutes per side. *Depending on pot size, you may need to work in batches when browning the chicken in order to evenly brown. After the chicken is browned they may crowd the pot, but not before*
- Stir in the tomato paste, allowing it to coat the chicken. Lightly brown the paste for 2 minutes, turning chicken over halfway through.
- Next, add the butter to the pot. Once the butter has completely melted, flip chicken over to coat both sides.
- Sprinkle flour over the top of the chicken and stir to coat. Flip chicken over and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir the pearl onions/shallot/garlic and bacon mix back into the pot
- Next, add the mushrooms and carrots. Pour in the red wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and pour in the stock. Add bay leaves and thyme sprigs to the top.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Julia Child coq au vin is one of the best known French recipes of all time. This red wine chicken dish can be served with some good crusty bread or potatoes, this classic French stew is sure to impress everyone. It’s a simple dish featuring chicken braised in wine with herbs and fresh vegetables, and a wonderfully hearty dish for cool fall or winter evenings.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.