Coq au Vin

Story by Natalie
Coq au Vin
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When you hear “coq au vin” what comes to mind? Labor intensive? Too fancy to be practical? Maybe just a bit intimidating? What if I told you none of that was true?

In reality, this classic French dish is a simple, one-pot wonder full of layered, rich flavors that is perfect for your next family meal or dinner party. If you’re not quite convinced yet, please read on, because you will be!

Coq au Vin

Translated from French, coq au vin means “rooster in wine.” Sounds yummy, right? Despite its straightforward name, coq au vin is a dish full of nuanced, deep, savory flavors (not unlike its French beef counterpart boeuf bourguignon). Served over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or a good parsnip puree, it’s the kind of dish that makes anyone you serve it to feel special.

Coq au vin takes humble chicken thighs and drumsticks and elevates them with a braise in red wine infused with with bacon, garlic, herbs, and vegetables. The result is a dish full of fall-apart chicken and the most succulent sauce. Because we aren’t trying to be the next Julia Child, we’ve taken the liberty of simplifying the recipe and skipping a few (non-essential) steps to transform classic coq au vin into a dish that anyone can cook with ease.

Coq au Vin

What Should I Cook my coq au vin in?

In true French fashion, coq au vin is best cooked in a Dutch oven or cast iron braising dish. If you don’t have either of those, I highly recommend adding one to your collection. It will become your most beloved pot, guaranteed. The heavy lid of a Dutch oven creates the perfect environment for keeping in steam while your coq au vin braises away in the oven, resulting in supremely tender meat.  

While a good vessel to cook your dish in is important, the quality of your ingredients carries equal weight—and the wine used in braising is no exception.

Coq au Vin

Which Wine is Best for Coq au Vin?

Coq au vin is traditionally made with red wine. Lately, it's become popular to use white wine, but we love the bold flavor that a good red has to offer and so we've decided to stick with tradition on this one.

Recently, Holly and I have been discovering and enjoying the wines of the Rioja region of Spain. The wines of Rioja are the only ones in the world that are not released until they are ready to drink. The cool growing conditions in Rioja produce fruity wines with moderate alcohol and low acidity, making them the perfect wine for pairing and cooking virtually any dish, especially this coq au vin.

How Do You Make Coq au Vin?

While coq au vin is a relatively simple dish, these key steps will set you up for success:

  • Start with a Dutch oven. You will be using this pot for the entire dish.
  • First, brown your bacon (or lardon or pancetta), then remove it from the pan leaving all that nice grease and fond behind.
  • Next, brown your chicken in the bacon grease. Get those skins nice and crispy, and then remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
  • Then, sauté the garlic and herbs and add the chicken and bacon back into the pot and cover with wine and chicken stock. (Go ahead and pour a glass of wine for yourself while you’re at it.)
  • Cover, place the pot in the oven, and wait 30 minutes.
  • Finally, remove from the oven, uncover, and add all the carrots, mushrooms, and shallots (or pearl onions), along with the melted butter and flour mixture for thickening. Cook this on the stove over medium heat for 5-8 minutes and then you’re ready to serve!
Coq au Vin

See, I told you it was easy. We love this recipe for coq au vin, because it is:

  • Easy. 
  • Comforting. 
  • Great for company. 
  • Perfect for winter. 
  • Insanely delicious. 
  • Makes us feel fancy, without stressing us out with too many complicated steps. 
Coq au Vin

What to Serve With Coq au Vin:

Coq au vin really is a one-pot meal. It has protein and vegetables all together in one pot. You don’t need to serve it with anything else, but it really would be a shame to not have something to soak up all that sauce. We recommend making a big batch of these garlic mashed potatoes to do just that. Alternatively, you could eat this wine-braised goodness with egg noodles, cauliflower mash, or parsnip puree.

Served alongside a glass of Rioja, this dish is the perfect winter meal; hearty, cozy, full of depth, and (perhaps most importantly) blissfully uncomplicated.

Coq au Vin

And, as always, if you do make this dish we’d love to hear from you. Post a picture and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see how it turned out!

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Rioja Wines. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Coq au Vin

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 oz bacon, cut into 2" pieces
8 pieces chicken (4 drum sticks, 4 thighs)
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, quartered
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 bottle Rioja red wine
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces, then halved lengthwise
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 lb crimini mushrooms, quartered

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a braiser or oven proof pot, add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  3. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, brown chicken in reserved bacon grease, working with only 2-3 pieces at a time, about 5 minutes. Set chicken aside.
  4. In the same pan add garlic, shallots, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken back into pan and poor wine and chicken stock over the top. Nestle the carrots around the chicken. Bring to liquid to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven. Braise for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and place back on top of the stove.
  7. In a small bowl mix together melted butter with flour and stir in ¼ cup liquid from braising pan. Pour mixture back into the pan along with mushrooms. Stir and cover. Cook for 10 minutes longer over medium heat. Season to taste.
  8. Top with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.