This Coq au Vin recipe is a classic French dish that comes together easily. Chicken is cooked in a flavorful and rich red wine sauce for an impressive dish to serve to guests.
What’s in this Coq au Vin Recipe?
This is my go-to meal any time we eat out at our local French restaurant. It’s rich and decadent, but it’s also easy to make at home! Although it’s traditionally made with rooster, we’ve made it easier and more accessible by using chicken pieces instead!
- Butter: Infuses the dish with rich flavor, helps the veggies cook without burning, and helps form a roux that thickens the whole dish.
- Bacon: Adds a salty and umami element to the dish.
- Carrots: Add a touch of sweetness and color to the dish.
- Shallots: Add a sweet and earthy flavor to the dish.
- Mushrooms: Add an earthy element that complements the red wine.
- Brandy: Helps deglaze the veggies and infuses the dish with a warm and sweet flavor.
- Chicken: I used chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts for a variety that mimics a whole chicken without the mess of cutting it up into parts.
- Red Wine: Adds a slight acidity that deepens the flavor of the dish.
- Chicken Stock: Adds rich umami flavor to the dish and helps create a sauce.
- Tomato Sauce: Deepens the flavor and color of the sauce.
- Fresh Thyme: Adds a fresh and herbaceous element.
- All-Purpose Flour: Thickens the sauce.
Pro Tip: Use free run / organic chicken that hasn’t been raised on antibiotics for the best tasting dish.
Variations on Chicken Coq au Vin
There are lots of ways to change up this classic dish. For example, you can swap out the red wine for white wine for a lighter, fresher flavor. You could even make Coq au Vin Blanc by adding heavy cream to the sauce for a luscious texture. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try making this dish with turkey or the more traditional rooster if you can find it!
Coq au Vin is a classic French dish that features chicken cooked in red wine with mushrooms, onions, and bacon. The traditional version of the dish is actually made with rooster meat rather than chicken, but rooster is not so widely available anymore, so we just used chicken!
You don’t need to splash out on an expensive wine to make this recipe. You will have about a glass of wine left over from a standard bottle, so you do want it to be drinkable! The best wine is a medium-bodied red with good acidity. Traditionally a burgundy is used, and a pinot noir will do the job well.
This dish should taste rich, saucy, and savory. It should have a complex flavor with rich red wine undertones.
If your dish turns purple, don’t panic! It’s just a result of the oxidation of the wine. Some varieties of wine, like Merlot, tend to dye the chicken purplish just because they contain so much pigment, while others will change the chicken’s color over time as leftovers sit in the refrigerator.
If you use a wine that is high in tannins, it could impart a bitter flavor to the dish. Opt for a wine that’s slightly sweeter in flavor to avoid this bitterness.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover Coq au Vin in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a Dutch oven set over medium-low heat until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Freeze Coq au Vin in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Traditionally, this chicken dish is served with a simple potato side dish, I also like to serve it with a side of fresh greens. It will also sit well on top of pasta or rice. Try serving it with mashed potatoes, sheet pan scalloped potatoes, grilled asparagus, or sauteed carrots.
Coq au Vin Recipe
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
- 5 strips bacon sliced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 carrots
- 10-15 shallots
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- ⅓ cup brandy
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2½ cups red wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon salted butter room temperature (⅛ stick)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Add the bacon and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown, then remove and set aside on paper towels to drain.5 strips bacon
- Peel the carrots and shallots, then chop the carrots into bite-sized pieces.2 carrots, 10-15 shallots
- In the same Dutch oven, add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for 7 minutes.1 cup chopped mushrooms
- Deglaze with the brandy, then remove the vegetables from the Dutch oven and set aside.⅓ cup brandy
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat in the Dutch oven
- Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat, or until browned.2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks, 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Add the red wine, chicken stock, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes.2½ cups red wine, 2 cups chicken stock, ½ cup tomato sauce
- Add the bacon, shallots, mushrooms, carrots, and thyme.3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on the stovetop on medium heat.
- In a small bowl mix the salted butter and flour together.1 tablespoon salted butter, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Add a spoonful of the gravy sauce from the Dutch oven to the butter/flour mixture.
- Mix well with a spoon, then add back in the dutch oven and combine well with the rest of the gravy.
- I like to use a mixture of chicken thigh, drumsticks and breast for this recipe to add texture and flavor, but you can just use one or two cuts if you prefer.
- Use free run / organic chicken that hasn’t been raised on antibiotics for the best tasting dish.