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Guaranteed to impress your guests, this incredible Coq Au Vin with Mashed Potatoes is actually ridiculously easy to make! Made with simple chicken drumsticks braised in red wine along with some savory bacon, mushrooms, and lots of fresh herbs, this dish is perfect for your next dinner party or family gathering!
Easy Coq Au Vin Recipe
My dear friends, let me tell you about the magnificent Coq au Vin, a true French classic that’s the epitome of comfort food. This incredibly scrumptious dish is all about tender chicken that’s slowly braised in a mouthwatering red wine sauce, along with the perfect accompaniments – bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. Hailing from the beautiful Burgundy region, Coq au Vin has been warming hearts and filling bellies for centuries, and it’s not hard to see why!
Yet, while the dish is really easy to make, coq au vin is anything but simple in taste! It’s got layers of rich flavor from red wine, bacon, mushrooms, and a mixture of herbs that all slowly cook together with the chicken until it falls off the bone. In fact, it was traditionally made with a rooster because braising is a great way to make tougher types of meat more tender. But this dish can be made with any type of poultry and this is not a classic recipe so I decided to use some chicken drumsticks instead. I also added some haricot verts too, otherwise known as green beans.
Now, we can’t talk about Coq au Vin without mentioning the extraordinary Julia Child, who played a crucial role in popularizing this delicious recipe beyond the borders of France. With her iconic cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Julia introduced a whole new world of French cuisine to home cooks everywhere. Her approachable style and unwavering passion for food truly brought Coq au Vin to the forefront, and it has been a beloved international favorite ever since.
Why We Love French Coq Au Vin
- Simple Recipe! This recipe is going to show you how easy French cooking can be. In just a few simple steps you can have a tasty chicken stew ready in just over an hour.
- Refined French Flavor! Chicken is slowly braised in red wine together with onions, mushrooms, and a handful of fresh herbs to create layers of rich and delicious flavor.
- Meal Prep Perfect! Just like any other stew, this recipe is a great make-ahead family meal that can be made and then kept in the fridge or freezer to serve at a later time.
- Bacon – A common ingredient used in French cuisine to add a layer of rich savory flavor. You can also use bacon lardons or pancetta too if you prefer.
- Chicken – I used skin-on chicken drumsticks, but any part of the chicken can be used. Chicken thighs are another popular choice. However, I recommend leaving the skin-on and bone-in.
- Salt and Pepper – Needed to season the stew and the chicken before it’s seared.
- Onion – I used cipollini onions which add a lovely flavor. You can also use pearl onions if you like or even just use a chopped large brown onion.
- Mushrooms – White mushrooms or cremini mushrooms are most often used for this recipe, but any type of mushrooms will work and add amazing flavor.
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic cloves for the best taste. Store-bought already peeled or minced garlic can sometimes have a funny taste due to preservatives.
- Red Wine – Burgundy wines such as Pinot Noir are traditionally used or even a Shiraz, yet any type of dry red wine is perfect.
- Chicken Broth – To limit the amount of added salt I always use low-sodium broth.
- Herbs – Bay leaves along with fresh sprigs of fresh thyme, sprigs of fresh rosemary, and sage leaves fill the stew with lots of lovely aromatic flavor. While fresh parsley is used to garnish the dish.
- Green Beans – Fresh is best, but even frozen green beans will do the trick. Carrots can also be added.
- Butter – You should always use unsalted butter when cooking unless a recipe states otherwise.
- Flour – Simple all-purpose flour is used to thicken the stew.
- Potatoes – I prefer to use Yukon Gold potatoes or russet potatoes.
- Heavy Cream – Another option is half and half. Milk will also work, but whole milk is best. Just keep in mind the higher the fat content the creamier the potatoes will be.
- Butter – It’s best to use unsalted butter. However, if all you have on hand is salted butter then just reduce the amount of salt used to season the mashed potatoes.
- Salt and Pepper – Used to season the potatoes to taste.
This absolutely delicious classic French chicken stew is quite simple to make in just a little over an hour. In fact, it’s foolproof if you follow my easy instructions!
Before you begin the stew, preheat your oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). It needs to be hot and ready to go when it comes time to finish the dish in the oven. You do not want the stew to go into an oven that is not hot enough.
Now to begin the recipe, fry the chopped bacon until it’s crispy in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. If you don’t have a Dutch oven just use a large pot that is oven safe. Then when the bacon is done, transfer it from the pot with a slotted spoon to a plate but leave 1 to 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pot. You can discard the rest of the bacon fat.
First, pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Next, generously sprinkle them with salt and black pepper and then put them in the Dutch oven with the bacon fat. Now, cook the drumsticks over medium-high heat in a single layer for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until they begin to brown. Then remove the chicken from the pot and put it with cooked bacon. Don’t worry if the chicken isn’t fully cooked yet because it will finish cooking while it’s braising.
After you remove the chicken from the pot, add the cipollini onions and mushrooms and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes until both the onions and mushrooms are beginning to brown. Then add the chopped garlic and cook the mixture for just 30 seconds more until the garlic is aromatic.
Deglazing is partially what makes this stew so flavorful! Just pour in the red wine and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan by scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Next, stir in the chicken broth. Then add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Now, add the cooked bacon and chicken back into the pot and bring everything to a boil. Then reduce the stew to medium heat, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
While the chicken stew is cooking on the stovetop you can make the mashed potatoes. Start by putting the cubed potatoes in a large pot of cold water with some salt and bringing them to a boil. Now, boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Then drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and put them in a large bowl. Next, add the butter to the hot potatoes right away followed by the heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Then use an electric mixer or potato mashed to mash the potatoes until they are creamy and smooth.
To complete the stew, after cooking for 20 minutes add the green beans to the pot. Next, whisk the melted butter together with the flour and then stir it into the stew. Then taste the dish and season it with more salt and pepper if necessary. Now, put the stew into the oven without the lid and let it cook for another 1½ hours. When it’s done the green beans should be tender and the sauce will have thickened. Then remove the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary sprigs, and sage before serving.
Once the stew is ready and the potatoes have been mashed, put some mashed potatoes in the middle of your serving dishes and then ladle the coq au vin over the mashed potatoes. Then garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and serve right away with a homemade French baguette if you like!
What Is The Best Wine For Coq Au Vin?
Classic coq au vin is made with Burgundy wine like Pinot Noir. But overall any dry red wine will work perfectly fine. The most important thing is that you don’t omit the wine. So if you have an already open bottle of red wine that hasn’t turned into vinegar that’s perfect. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy an expensive bottle of wine. You can even use a cheaper wine that you’d drink and get the same results.
Can I Make Coq Au Vin In The Slow Cooker?
Yes! Fry the bacon, sear the chicken, cook the veggies, and deglaze the pan as instructed in the recipe. Then add everything to your crockpot along with the chicken broth and fresh herbs. Then just cook the stew for about 3 hours on LOW. Next, add the green beans and then stir in the whisked butter and flour mixture. Now, cook it for one more hour on LOW or until the green beans are done and the stew has thickened up a bit.
Can I Make Coq Au Vin Ahead Of Time?
Yes, Coq au Vin can be made ahead of time, and its flavors often improve after a day or two in the refrigerator. To reheat, gently simmer it on the stovetop until warmed through.
Is There A Non-alcoholic Substitute For The Wine In Coq Au Vin?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute an equal amount of chicken or vegetable broth mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to mimic the flavor profile.
- Pat the chicken dry. Use paper towels to remove any excess moisture from the drumsticks, which will help them to get a better sear when they are cooked.
- Deglaze the pan properly. After you add the red wine make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. This is the key to making really flavorful stews.
- Season at the end. To avoid over-salting, do not add more salt until the stew is almost complete. As a rule, you should always taste right before serving and then season to your liking.
Leftover coq au vin stew will keep in the fridge for about 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months when stored in an airtight container. To reheat, just put it in the microwave for a few minutes on medium power or in a saucepan over medium heat. However, if the stew is frozen it’s best to let it thaw out overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Other Delicious French Recipes To Try
- Beef Bourguignon
- Classic French Cassoulet
- Choux Pastry (Pâte à Choux)
- Chicken Fricassee
- Chocolate Mousse
- 6 slices bacon (chopped)
- 8 chicken drumsticks (*)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 cup cipollini onions (cut in half or 1 large onion, chopped **)
- 1 pound mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 cup red wine (***)
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3 sage leaves
- 8 ounce green beans
- 8 tablespoon butter (melted, unsalted)
- 1½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large Dutch oven fry the chopped bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot but leave the fat there, if you have more than 1 or 2 tbsp of bacon fat, discard the rest.
- Season the chicken drumsticks generously with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook the drumsticks on both sides over medium-high heat, until they start to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. The chicken doesn't have to be cooked through as we will cook it later on and will continue to cook. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside together with the bacon.
- Add the cipollini onions and the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions start to caramelize and the mushrooms start to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until the garlic starts to get aromatic.
- Deglaze the pan by stirring in the red wine, scraping all the brown bits as you go along. Stir in the chicken broth, then add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and sage leaves. Add the bacon and chicken back to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a medium, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the green beans to the pot. Whisk the melted butter with the flour and stir it into the pot. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Place the pot without the lid into the oven and braise for another 1½ hours. Remove the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary sprigs and sage.
- Garnish with parsley.
For Mashed Potatoes
- While the chicken is braising in the wine you can make the mashed potatoes. Boil the potatoes in water with a bit of salt until fork tender, should take about 15 minutes, but depends on size of potato cubes.
- Drain the water from the potatoes and add them to a large bowl. Add the butter to the hot potatoes, and the butter should start to melt right away. Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher or electric beater, slowly mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy.
- Serve the Coq au Vin over the mashed potatoes.
- *Any part of the chicken can be used here, even chicken breast, but to get the ultimate flavor, I recommend leaving the skin on and bone in.
- **Cipollini onions literally mean “little onions” in Italian and are great for caramelizing and roasting.
- *** You can use pretty much any red wine, usually a Burgundy wine would be perfect, but even a white wine can be substituted
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.