Coq au Vin is a french country classic, like so many national dishes. It’s a dish of the common people, something that was created out of necessity, like the greatest dishes seemingly always are. While the dish itself may seem complicated, having patience and making sure to pay special care to keeping the right temperature is half the battle.

This thick, rich French stew is an essential European dish on any rustic French menu, and one you’re sure to enjoy!

Coq Au Vin

Wine is essential in Coq au Vin, namely a medium-bodied, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir. Avoid bold, heavily oaked red winess like Cabernets or light-bodied wines like Beaujolais. To use fresh pearl onions, trim the root and stem end of each onion and discard. Boil for 1 minute, shock in ice water, then peel a thin strip from root to stem. Remove any remaining outer skin (it's like peeling off a jacket). If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.) Serve the stew with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6 people


  • 1 bottle fruity smooth, medium-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces bacon preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs , trimmed of excess fat and cut in half crosswise
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 frozen pearl onions thawed, drained, and patted dry (about 1 cup) (see note above)
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms wiped clean, stems trimmed, halved if small and quartered if large
  • 2 medium cloves garlic minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • Bring all but 1 tablespoon wine (reserve for later use), broth, parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 3 cups, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in small bowl; discard remaining fat.
  • Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of chicken in single layer and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring frequently, until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add reduced wine mixture, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return chicken, any accumulated juices, and reserved bacon to pot; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
  • Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce until thick and glossy and measures 3 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon wine. Season to taste with salt. Return chicken to pot and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately

This is a dish that, ultimately, you can experiment with. We like to go a little heavier on the parsley and thyme, as well as the garlic. Additionally, we’ll normally let this dish reduce an additional 20-30 minutes for an especially thick reduction, which really tamps the wine and brings out additional flavor.

No matter how you choose to make your Coq au Vin, and how you decide to experiment, this is one French culinary classic you’re sure to love!

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