Coq au vin is a delicious stew that has its origins in French cuisine and is perfect for fall and winter. I made this coq au vin recipe it with additional mushrooms.

Easy coq au vin

Coq au vin

Coq au vin literally means rooster with wine. Now no doubt you will be able to buy rooster somewhere but chicken is of course totally fine to use for this. It is a stew and you can easily prepare it by putting it in the oven and letting it cook gently. On the stove is certainly also an option (on low heat) but then keep a closer eye on it to prevent the moisture from evaporating too quickly and boiling your pan dry. So you might need some additional wine or stock if cooking on the stove.

Which chicken for coq au vin?

Which chicken you will use for this French stew depends a bit on your preferences. I used chicken drumsticks here. With skin and with the thighs attached. So not those little drumsticks, but really the whole legs. If you keep one leg per person, you’ll be fine. You can also use chicken breasts for this dish but keep in mind that those might dry out sooner. 

Easy coq au vin

You can also choose to make this with chicken thighs. In that case – depending on the size of the thighs – I would use two chicken thighs per person. Less meat is also possible, of course. The size of chicken thighs can vary, so use whatever you like. Something smaller or larger doesn’t make much difference to the end result.

In the oven

It is easiest to prepare the coq au vin in the oven. So use a large Dutch oven or a large skillet and preferably one that you can close with a lid so that all the flavors and moisture stay in the pan. 

You start making the coq au vin first by searing the chicken legs in olive oil and butter. Then you remove the chicken from the pan again, set aside and fry the bacon golden brown. Then turn down the heat and add the vegetables. You can optionally add a few tablespoons of whiskey but it is absolutely not necessary. Whatever you use, make sure to use a wooden spoon to loosen the bits at the bottom of the pan. I’ve not used it here but you can also add a spoon of tomato paste to make the flavor richer but that’s totally optional.

Add the flour and let it fry for a while. The flour will thicken the sauce and make it delicious and glossy. 

Put the chicken back in the pan and add the wine and stock. Which wine you use is flexible. I like to use a good cabernet sauvignon, but a good pinot noir is also a great choice. If you want a delicious sauce, don’t go for a cheap wine as that will have an effect on the final sauce.The 450 ml of broth is a guideline and depends on the size of your pan. You need that much to cover most of the chicken with liquid. Now put the pan in the oven and let this simmer quietly for about 1.5 hours.

coq au vin

I’ve not made this in a slow cooker but this would definitely also one of those really good slow cooker recipes.

With extra mushrooms

I like to serve the coq au vin with extra earthy mushrooms but that is absolutely not a must. I sauté the mushrooms separately in a small pan with a few tablespoons butter and brown them until cooked and serve them on top of the coq au vin.

This delicious stew is best with mashed potatoes or celeriac puree, but also does well with crispy baked potatoes. I love to serve this with some french bread to go along with it to soak up the juices leftover on the plate. 

To marinate or not to marinate

It seems that originally the chicken was also marinated in red wine first. I skipped that step and found it to be a truly delicious dish. But of course, if you want, you could do that. I’m not sure what it adds to the final result but if you want to make this classic French dish you might want to try to marinate it as well. 

Can you make coq au vin without wine?

Yes, in principle you can, although of course then it is no longer called coq au vin, but coq au…. An alternative would be to use a smaller amount of grape juice and a bit more broth. Keep in mind that the end result will be a lot sweeter so make sure to balance the flavors to counterbalance the sweetness. 

How do I make the coq au vin gluten-free?

The only component to the coq au vin that contains gluten is, of course, the flour. You can substitute this for arrowroot or rice flour if you wish. 

Can you freeze coq au vin?

Yes this is a dish you can easily freeze. In the refrigerator it will stay good for up to two days. The flavors will develop more in those days so the coq au vin will be even more delicious.

Easy coq au vin

Coq au vin

5 from 1 vote
GangBreakfast, Main

A delicious French classic perfect for fall and winter!
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour 50 minutes

4 people


  • Dutch oven


  • 4 chicken drumsticks with thigh attached with skin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g bacon in cubes
  • 2 large onions in rings
  • 2 carrots cleaned and diced
  • 2 stalks celery in pieces
  • 4 shallots chopped
  • 35 g flour
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 200 g mixed mushrooms cut
  • 450 ml chicken stock
  • 750 ml red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp whiskey optional

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F)
  • Put a large skillet (it is a one-pot dish so everything should fit in the pan) on medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the pan is well hot add the olive oil and butter. Now fry the chicken pieces in the fat until nice and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the bacon and fry until golden brown. Now lower the heat slightly and add the onion, shallots, carrot and celery and fry for a few minutes.
  • If you are using the whiskey now add it to the pan and stir well to loosen all the bits from the bottom. Now add the flour and let it fry for a while. This creates a kind of roux. Fry this for a while. To prevent lumps, you can first loosen the flour with some liquid.
  • Put the chicken back in the pan and add the thyme, mushrooms and bay leaves.
  • Pour in the red wine and add the stock until the chicken is just covered. Now cover and put in the oven for about 1.5 hours or until the chicken is well cooked.
  • You can serve it straight from the pan. Delicious with potato gratin or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 700kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 570mg | Potassium: 1114mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 5378IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist