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Coq au Vin

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Coq au vin is a hearty French stew of chicken braised in red wine with mushrooms and crisp pancetta.

Rich and brimming with flavor, coq au vin is a classic French stew of chicken braised in red wine with mushrooms and crispy pancetta. It’s the perfect cooking project to tackle on a chilly weekend when you’ve got a few hours to burn. As with most stews, coq au vin is even better the next day, and it freezes well, too. Serve with buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or a good crusty bread — basically anything to soak up the full-flavored sauce.

What You’ll Need To Make Coq au Vin

ingredients for Coq au Vin

Before we get to the step-by-step, a few notes about the ingredients:

  • Traditional recipes for coq au vin call for a whole cut-up chicken (a coq is an old rooster), but I prefer to use only bone-in chicken thighs only. The thighs remain tender and succulent when braised for a long time, whereas white meat tends to dry out.
  • Pancetta is simply Italian bacon. Instead of being smoked like American bacon, it is cured with salt and spices and then dried. You can find it in the deli at most supermarkets or precut and packaged in the refrigerated gourmet foods aisle, which is a great time saver.
  • For the wine, a Burgundy or Pinot Noir is traditional but any light or medium bodied red wine, such as Merlot or Zinfandel, will work. You don’t need to use an expensive bottle; just make sure it’s good enough to drink (no supermarket cooking wine!).
  • Cognac, a type of French brandy, is used in cocktails like sangria, but it also adds complex flavor to savory dishes like chicken pot pie, steak au poivre, and gravy.
  • You may notice that my recipe does not call for the traditional garnish of pearl onions. They can be difficult to find, and I actually prefer the stew without them. If you’d like to add them, be sure to brown them in butter and cook them thoroughly before adding them to the finished stew.

How To Make Coq au Vin

To begin, heat the oil in a large (5-qt) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy, 5 to 8 minutes.
cooking pancettaUsing a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and brown half of the chicken in a single layer, skin side down, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes (brown on the skin side only). Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.

browning chickenPour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat, then return the pot to the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

cooking onions and garlic

Pour in the Cognac and cook, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the Cognac has evaporated.

deglazing the pan with Cognac

Add the wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.

bringing liquid to a boilReduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

reduced liquid

Add the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate back to the pot, along with the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the chicken and carrots are cooked through.

adding chicken and carrots to pot

While the chicken cooks, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

sautéed mushrooms

Also while the chicken cooks: In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and flour.

butter and flour in bowl

Mash with a spoon to make a smooth paste. In French, this is called a beurre manié (or kneaded butter). Set aside.

beurre manié

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. The wine gives it a purplish hue.

cooked chicken on plate

Using a fork and knife, pull the skin off of the chicken (it should slide right off) and discard. The skin has served its purpose by lending flavor to the sauce and protecting the meat from drying out. You don’t have to do remove it, but it’s soggy at this point and I think the dish is more appetizing without it.

chicken with skin removedIncrease the heat in the Dutch oven/pot to medium and stir in three-quarters of the flour and butter paste.

adding beurre manié

Gently boil until the sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes; add the remaining paste if you’d like the sauce a little thicker. Fish out and discard the bay leaf.

simmering sauce to thicken

Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Right before serving, stir in the browned mushrooms and pancetta. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

adding chicken. mushrooms, and pancetta back to pot

Serve immediately or let cool, chill in the refrigerator, and reheat when ready to serve.

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Coq au Vin

Coq au vin is a hearty French stew of chicken braised in red wine with mushrooms and crisp pancetta.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta (or bacon)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin (see note)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Cognac
  • 2½ cups red wine, preferably Burgundy or Pinot Noir
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks on the bias
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large (5-qt) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
  2. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and brown half of the chicken in a single layer, skin side down, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes (brown on the skin side only). Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  3. Return the pot to the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the Cognac and cook, stirring to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the Cognac has evaporated. Add the wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate back to the pot, along with the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the chicken and carrots are cooked through.
  5. While the chicken cooks, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Also while the chicken cooks: In a small bowl, mash the softened butter and flour to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
  8. Increase the heat in the Dutch oven/pot to medium and stir in three-quarters of the flour and butter paste. Gently boil until the sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes; add the remaining paste if you'd like the sauce a little thicker. Fish out and discard the bay leaf.
  9. Using a fork and knife, pull the skin off of the chicken and discard.
  10. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Right before serving, stir in the browned mushrooms and pancetta. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then serve.
  11. Make-Ahead Instructions: Let cool to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop before serving. (For best results, store the sautéed mushrooms and crispy pancetta in separate containers in the refrigerator and add before serving.)
  12. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: This can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the stew in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot.
  13. Note: Sometimes chicken thighs have excess skin and/or fat. Before cooking, using kitchen shears, trim any skin that extends farther than the edges of the chicken thigh, and snip off any excess fat.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 chicken thighs
  • Calories: 1,470
  • Fat: 99 g
  • Saturated fat: 30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 75 g
  • Sodium: 2,139 mg
  • Cholesterol: 432 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn! I’m looking forward to making Coq aVin for the first time using your recipe. I have seen many recipes for Coq a Vin Blanc and was wondering if you could share how the taste changes using the different wines? Do you have a preference? I was wondering if using a white or red makes the whole thing taste better or is it pretty much the same? Thanks and you rock!

    • — Cole on February 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Cole, I know there are some recipes that call for white wine. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it with white — the taste and color will be a bit different if you use white, but it should still be good. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • This was amazing. The tip of combining butter and flour as a thickener is useful for other recipes, and the mashed potato recipe that goes with this is excellent.

    • — Lawrence Witte on January 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made this tonight. It was delicious. I’ve been ordering it at French restaurants and Jenn’s is just as delicious.
    Thank you!

    • — Victoria A Kelly on January 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was absolutely delicious! Great flavor

    • — Carole on January 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this for some friends we had over, absolutely fabulous! We served with mashed potatoes. Jen, you are awesome, this recipe like the many I have tried are always top notch!

    • — Lynne Green on January 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another perfect recipe! I had the day off so I decided to make this for dinner. I followed the recipe exactly. So good! Can’t wait for the leftovers. Thanks Jen! One of my favorites from the cookbook❤️

    • — Viv on January 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this yesterday for a mid-afternoon meal with a good friend today. I followed the recipe exactly, and it was excellent (as your recipes always are). It got rave reviews from my friend and my husband. I paired it with the green beans with shallots and a salad. Delicious! I do have a question. I found the prep time took me much longer than the recipe called for – is that because the time is based on how long it takes you to prep? I’m not a trained chef, but enjoy cooking and have been doing it for many years. Thank you so much for guest-pleasing recipes that the average cook can make, with ingredients I can find in my local supermarket!

    • — Deb on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, glad you enjoyed it! I know that I am probably quicker than most people when it comes to food prep so I try to add some extra time when sharing the recipe to account for that. Sorry that this took you much longer than 30 minutes of prep time though!

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • I do love your recipes and I have your book. Can I ask why you indicate 8 chicken thighs for 6 people. Is one thigh enough in your opinion per person, with a few extras? I thought 2 per person, but maybe that is too much?
    Thanks
    Norman

    • — Norman on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Norman, so glad you like the recipes! Your question got me thinking, and I’ve decided to change the number of servings to 4 instead of 6. Consistent with that, I would plan for 2 thighs per person. Just keep in mind you may end up having some leftovers. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2023
      • Reply
    • Hi Norman, So glad you like the recipes/cookbook! Your comment gave me pause and I think it would be safer to assume that each person would potentially eat two thighs. I’m going to update the number of servings in the recipe. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice before and used chicken breasts. It was delicious but this time I am going for the recipe as written with bone in skin on chicken thighs. I’ve never cooked or served chicken thighs before so this is a first! Can you let me know if you are meant to remove the bone before serving (I see the note about the skin)? Or would guests just cut around it?

    • — Jules on January 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you’ve enjoyed it! Guests can just cut around the bones. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 13, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thank you!! One last question, can I cook this a bit early and leave it to simmer an hour or two so I am not trying to do everything as my guests are here? I’d add the pancetta and mushrooms before serving, as instructed. Just wasn’t sure if it simmering on low for a few hours would do any harm.

        • — Jules on January 14, 2023
        • Reply
        • Sure, Jules, that should be fine. Just keep it on the lowest heat, covered, and give it a stir periodically so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom.

          • — Jenn on January 16, 2023
          • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious as always with your recipes Jen! Knowing your history of French cuisine, do you happen to have a recipe for a french cassoulet you wouldn’t mind sharing on your blog? We would so appreciate it!!
    Thank you for all you do for us home cooks 🥰

    • — Candice Hill on January 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked this! As of now, I don’t have a proven recipe of my own for cassoulet – I’m sorry! I’ll have to add that to my list of recipes to potentially develop. Thanks for the suggestion as I’m always looking for new inspiration!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2023
      • Reply
      • ?

        • — Candice Hill on January 19, 2023
        • Reply
  • I have made several recipes from your page. They have all been delicious. The coq au vin is fantastic and I am so grateful for these recipes. Thank you.

    • — Jennifer M. on January 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • OMG, this was sooo good! As many have stated previously, Jenn’s recipes are just so well outlined and so easy to follow. This was my first time cooking Coq au Vin and it surely won’t be the last time! Such a “fancy” dish, but actually quite easy (and economical) to accomplish. Decreased the recipe in half for the two of us, but didn’t decrease the garlic (as we are “garlic people”). Added some celery, too. Although we halved the butter/flour mash, we used all of it without ANY regret. Highly recommend!! Thanks, Jenn!!!

    • — Jan A. on January 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I drooled as I read a book with this dish being described (Louise Penny – Armand Gamache series) and the real thing did not disappoint! The recipe was easy to follow and the steps being broken out as they were was so helpful. I WILL make again. Thank you!

    • — Amy on December 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe Jenn!
    I made it once for my family, and they raved, then made it for company on Christmas Day!
    I was able to use plain gluten free flour (available in the UK with no zamtham gum, etc) to mix with the butter as a thickener. Lots of other options for that too.
    Served it with mashed potatoes and your green beans with shallots recipe.
    This recipe is very accessible for any cook and it’s just helpful to have things ready to go before starting.
    This will be a family staple from now on!

    • — Mary Glassman on December 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • So good! Made cheap chicken thighs taste very savory and fancy.

    Would this work with pheasant?

    Thanks!

    • — JT on December 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi JT, Glad you liked it. I suspect it will work with pheasant, though the cooking time may be different. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it

      • — Jenn on December 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • We made this for our early Christmas celebration with our son and his family. Followed the directions exactly. It was spectacular! This was the best Coq au Vin I have ever made. We also served it with the recommended creamy mashed potatoes and French green beans. Everything was so delicious! Thanks once again Jenn for these keepers!

    • — Tom Grignon on December 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow – totally over the top. My guests loved it as well. I ran out of bread being used to mop up sauce. Hate to mess with perfection, but one question – how do you think herbs de Provence would work in place of the thyme

    • — Chuck on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad it was a hit! Sure, herbes de Provence would work just fine in place of the thyme. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Perfection. Thank you for this gorgeous recipe. Huge success and so delicious.

    • — Angie on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I want to make this with a 5 pound stewing chicken. What should I adjust?
    Isn’t that the traditional type of chicken in this dish as well?

    • — Marie on December 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Marie, you can use a stewing chicken in this recipe but keep in mind that the meat will probably be a lot tougher. I’d increase the cooking time for the chicken to hopefully make it a bit more tender. And I believe coq au vin was developed using a rooster. I’d love to hear how it comes out with the stewing hen!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wow! This is delicious! Have made it several times – the requests for more keep coming!

    • — Susan on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • THIS IS DELICIOUS!!! Even my picky kids loved it.

    • — Tia on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would it be possible to use boneless thighs? Thanks, and I love your recipes!

    • — Anita on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! The bones add a lot of flavor, so using boneless thighs will have an impact on the finished dish. Also, you won’t need to cook the chicken as long so it won’t get quite as infused with the other flavors. Last, it’s pretty hard to find boneless chicken thighs that have skin on them. All that said, technically you can do it!

      • — Jenn on December 9, 2022
      • Reply

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