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This chicken coq au vin recipe is a traditional French stew made up of braised chicken and a rich and flavorful sauce. The cooking process of browning and braising leaves you with incredibly tender and absolutely delicious chicken and vegetables in a red wine sauce. It’s silky and smooth, and tastes complex, but is ready without a lot of active cooking. If you’ve ever been intimidated to try it, now is the time and I’ll walk you through the process.
Hearty dishes like this chicken coq au vin are perfect fall or winter meals for special occasions! This recipe makes a complete meal served with French carrot salad and mash potatoes or (my preference) mashed cauliflower. Serve French pate with your favorite crackers as a starter and French almond cake for dessert.
What Is Coq Au Vin?
Coq au vin is a traditional French stew made of braised chicken, mushrooms, and a rich and flavorful wine sauce. Some recipes are made with lardons (bacon), pearl onions, and garlic, but always wine and chicken! Similar to braised lamb shanks, the meat simmers until it becomes ultra tender.
Some versions are thickened with all-purpose flour, but I don’t think it’s necessary so I’ve left it out.
What is the correct coq au vin pronunciation?
Given that coq au vin is French, you pronounce it: coke-oh-vahn.
Why You’ll Love This Coq Au Vin Recipe
- Rich and hearty flavors
- Tender chicken and vegetables in a silky sauce
- Surprisingly complex flavors with easy prep
- Ready in less than an hour
- Great to make-ahead, it gets better in the refrigerator
- Made with healthy ingredients
Coq Au Vin Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for coq au vin chicken, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks – I prefer to use organic chicken, but feel free to use you preferred type. Just make sure to buy bone-in and skin-on chicken.
- Salt & Pepper – I prefer sea salt, but kosher salt works, too. My usual rule of thumb is 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of pepper per pound of chicken, but we are using less salt here, because the chicken broth has salt.
- Olive Oil – I recommend high quality olive oil for the flavor, but avocado oil works as well.
- Vegetables – Cremini mushrooms, onion, carrots, and garlic.
- Chicken Broth – The recipe calls for regular chicken broth, but you could also use some watered down bone broth instead.
- Burgundy Wine – Traditional coq au vin recipes use red burgundy wine, but you can also use a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Tomato Paste – Adds deep, rich flavor. You could simmer down some tomato sauce in a pinch, but the flavor won’t be as intense.
- Fresh Thyme – Up to you if you want to use whole thyme sprigs or use only the leaves. Dried thyme will work, but you’ll need to use 1/3 the amount of fresh. You could also swap in fresh parsley.
- Bay Leaves – Optional, but adds traditional flavor.
- Pearl Onions – You can buy these fresh, but if you have trouble finding them, look for them frozen which will also make your life a lot easier.
How To Make Coq Au Vin
This section shows how to make chicken coq au vin with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Dry chicken. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Cook mushrooms. Cook mushrooms in a dutch oven or large skillet over medium high heat, until tender and browned. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Brown chicken. In the same skillet or dutch oven, sear chicken until browned (it will not be cooked through yet). Remove and set aside.
- Cook vegetables. Use the same pan to cook diced onion and chopped carrots, until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add flavor enhancements. Pour in broth, wine, and tomato paste, and stir to combine.
- Simmer chicken. Transfer chicken back to the pot, and add thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce to medium-low heat and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add onions. Add pearl onions (if using) and cooked mushrooms, and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and garnish with more fresh thyme if you like.
Store this chicken coq au vin recipe in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze coq au vin?
Yes, you can freeze this recipe for coq au vin. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 months.
Reheat the stew in a skillet or dutch oven. You can also reheat in the microwave, but it’s better on the stovetop.
What To Serve With Coq Au Vin
It’s traditional to serve this French chicken dish over mashed potatoes or anything starchy to soak up the delicious wine sauce, but I’ve got a few options for you.
- Mash – While mashed potatoes are traditional, mashed cauliflower is a great way to add in some extra veggies in a way that tastes like potatoes!
- Rice – Rice is another great option for serving alongside this easy coq au vin recipe. Use whatever rice you like, or cauliflower rice if you want a lighter option.
- Pasta – Pasta also works well to sop up all that sauce. Try zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or shirataki noodles for lower carb noodle.
- Salad – Hearty meals like this stew always pair well with a salad. Try my kale crunch salad or spring mix salad.
More Special Occasion Recipes
If you like this coq au vin recipe, you may like some of these other special meals:
Homemade Coq Au Vin Recipe
Chicken Coq Au Vin Recipe
This classic chicken coq au vin recipe is a cozy and comforting mix of chicken, vegetables, and a silky smooth sauce. And it's EASY!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
In the same dutch oven, sear chicken for about 5 minutes per side. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Add diced onion and chopped carrots to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in broth, wine, and tomato paste.
Transfer the chicken back to the pot. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Add pearl onions (if using) and previously cooked mushrooms. Cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
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Serving size: 1 piece of chicken with vegetables and sauce (1/6th of entire recipe)
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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