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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 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:
Tools To Make Chicken Coq Au Vin
- Dutch Oven – Use a heavy-bottomed pot like this for the best coq au vin recipe.
- Large Skillet – Another option instead of a dutch oven.
- Slotted Spoon – Helpful for scooping out the mushrooms.
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!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
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.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large skillet, over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
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.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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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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We love this recipe. I’ve made it many times for our Sabbath dinner. Tonight we’re having it with cauliflower rice.
I haven’t been to your website since you changed it. It sounds like you feel that low carb recipes are not healthy?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Judy, Healthy means something different to everybody. I follow a low-carb diet, and this was just a way to separate the generally healthy recipe from keto/low carb.
Have you ever put small cut up red potatoes in this? I remember my mom’s coq au vin had potatoes in it too
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Wendy, This is a low carb recipe so I wouldn’t add potatoes to it.
Can I substitute other types of mushrooms?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Rebecca, You could use a different type of mushrooms.
This has carrots. They’re not keto
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Michelle, This is just a healthy recipe. 🙂 However, while carrots on their own are not keto friendly, the small amount in this recipe can definitely fit many people’s macros. Feel free to omit them if they don’t work for you.
Hi Maya, I’m so excited about this recipe. I love your easy and savory recipes! I bought an 8 piece cut up chicken at Trader Joe’s, for this. I glanced at the picture, and thought that’s what you used. I won’t be using the wings, though. I have 2 questions.: Can this be done in a crockpot? If so, how?
Is it ok to use breasts in this recipe? If you think they will fall apart in cooking, I will buy chicken quarters and make it next week. I had a change in pre-Sabbath cooking schedule, and can’t be home to cook. Have to go out for a few hours. Maybe I can add mushrooms at a later cooking time? MWAH!
Thank you so much! We are having your crack slaw in a bowl tonight! We love it.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Judy, I think this recipe could be used with any chicken that you have. A crock pot should work for you but I have never tried it. Mushrooms are pretty hearty and I believe they would be fine to add in when you start the crock pot. Please let me know how it turns out!
Could you do this in an instant pot?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Patti, This recipe would probably turn out well in the instant pot but I have not tested that method yet.
This dish seems tasty and perfect for this coming season. Thanks for sharing.
This turned out amazing! I served if for dinner with a side of mashed potato and it was a hit. It was flavorful and delicious!
What a simple dish to make!
Oh my, this was really quite easy to put together and in less than an hour, dinner is served.
I haven’t made it for ages but so glad I did. I don’t know why because it’s such a flavourful dish, great for entertaining or Sunday lunch.
Coq au vin is such a comforting dish! Perfect for entertaining or just to warm up cooler nights. I grew up enjoying my mom’s and I’ve been missing it so much! Now all I want is to make your recipe to taste these flavors again.
Such a delicious comfort food recipe especially as the weather is getting chilly!
Maya, you make the best recipes!
I am adding this to the menu!! Love trying new recipes & this looks super tasty! The sauce sounds amazing!
This sounds so tasty!! Love the ingredients. They definitely add a lot of flavor! This would be great paired with any side!
This is so tender and has the most amazing flavor. This recipe is a keeper!
I used to order this all the time at restaurants, but for some reason, I have never thought to make it myself at home. This needs to change! Making this ASAP, thank you so much for the recipe 🙂
This is such a classic recipe…and one that I’d never tried to make!
Looks awesome Maya. Thanks for another great recipe.
My family loved this so much! I will definitely make this again.
This was so delicious! My whole family really loved it. I’ll be making it again for sure!
I love the slow cooked flavor you get in less than 1 hour~ And those pearl onions really make it special!
This looks delicious! Can it alternatively be made with boneless and skinless thighs?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Liz, Boneless skinless thighs should work just fine in this recipe, but they will cook more quickly.