Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is hearty, comforting and very flavorful. It is one of those meals that sounds fancy because it is French and has wine in it but it is also not intimidating to make at all. You can eat it over mashed potatoes (my favorite), over rice, with some French bread, or with other starches or vegetables on the side. If you haven’t had or made Coq au Vin before, consider this a good opportunity to do so.

Coq au Vin directly translate to rooster/cock in wine. It is traditionally made by braising a whole rooster in Burgundy wine with some other ingredients. But you don’t need to have a rooster or even a whole chicken nor wine from Burgundy to make this. You can use a Pinot Noir, a Merlot or really any decent medium to full bodied wine. No matter what wine you use DO NOT use cooking wine. Do not ever use cooking wine to cook really. Recipes with wine generally call for good old wine, yet cooking wine has added salt and other unnecessary ingredients because these companies decided to be extra, smh.

For this recipe I used chicken thighs and drumsticks and I don’t even remember what wine I used except that it was red. I also used regular cooking onions instead of pearl onions. Needless to say, my recipe is definitely not a traditional recipe but it is still delicious and you will still feel French after making this 🙂

Coq au Vin

This recipe yields about 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 chicken thighs and drumsticks each
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2 a bottle) wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Clean and pat chicken dry then season generously with salt and pepper. Place bacon in a large pot (one good for braising) over medium high heat and cook until crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Take bacon out, leaving drippings behind, and set aside. Cook chicken in bacon drippings for about 2 to 4 minutes per side or until browned. Once browned, take them out and set aside.

Add onions and mushrooms to the pan with a sprinkle of salt and sautée until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Then stir in garlic and tomato paste for another minute or until fragrant.

Pour in wine and broth and stir then add thyme and return chicken and bacon to the pot. Bring the heat down to low so the liquid simmers. Put a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes checking or gently stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix together butter and flour until it forms a paste. Put the butter mixture into the pot and gently stir until fully incorporated and sauce begins to thicken. Place the lid back on and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over mashed potatoes or starch of your choice.

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