Coq au Vin – Chicken in Wine

Coq au Vin - Chicken in Wine

Coq au Vin is a classic French one-pot dish, originally made with rooster, but most modern recipes use ordinary chicken. But simply put, it is chicken cooked in wine. It requires a bit of preparation but at the end you put the ingredients into a casserole pan, cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

My Coq au Vin turned a bit purple, not red, because I used Merlot instead of Burgundy wine to marinate. Purple is fun, there are not a lot of purple dishes out there and the flavor with Merlot is so delicious. Technically a traditional coq au vin is made with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety mainly used in Bordeaux wines. It’s possible to use Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine as well, but each wine will affect the taste of the dish greatly.

If you don’t have a Dutch Oven (casserole dish/pan) yet, I can highly recommend you invest into buying one. It makes your life so much easier in the kitchen, you can use it on the stovetop and transfer it to the oven for dishes that require long cooking time in the oven. It seals all the moisture and flavors inside, which results into extremely flavorful and juicy meat dishes. The most used design is black enameled steel pan, which was introduced in 1891 by a well-known Dutch manufacturer of cookware. I know it is expensive, and that is because a large amount of quality cast iron is needed to make them, and the enamel coating also needs to be high quality. It is worth paying attention to promotions, you can always find a good offer.

One 1,4 kg chicken will be enough for 4 persons, but if you have active sporty children, buy 2 extra chicken legs. Do not worry if you have leftovers, it’s very delicious next day, if not better. Coq au Vin’s preparation is very similar to beef bourguignon. Chicken is seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, parsley and bay leaf and slowly simmered in wine until tender.

The chicken and vegetables can be made ahead, only the mushrooms needs to be freshly prepared with the bacon before serving. Coq au Vin is very delicious with fresh bread, just dip it into the wine sauce and enjoy!

Coq au Vin - Chicken in Wine

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Marinate Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Andrea


  • Dutch Oven


  • 1,4 kg chicken bio
  • 2 chicken legs bio
  • 700 ml red wine good quality Merlot
  • 500 gram pearl onions peeled
  • 2 sticks celery chop into 1 cm slices
  • 4 carrots 14-15 cm length, chop diagonally into 1 cm thick slices
  • 1 tsp pepper freshly ground
  • 6 stalks fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 gram small mushrooms
  • 200 gram smoked bacon diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • handful fresh parsley finely cut to sprinkle on top before serving


  • Pour red wine into a pan and boil it for 10-15 minutes until it reduces to almost half, then leave it to cool.
  • While the wine is simmering cut the chicken into legs, breast, wings. (I did not use the back of the chicken, I save it to make stock later.)
  • Put the chicken, chopped carrots and celery sticks, peeled whole pearl onions with herbs together into a big bowl and pour the red wine over. Cover the bowl and put it into the fridge overnight to marinate.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Drain the marinade from the chicken to a bowl and reserve it. The best is if you place the chicken into a colander and leave it there for 20 minutes.
  • Separate the chicken from the vegetables and herbs and season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil on high heat in your casserole pan and sauté the chicken for 4-5 minutes, until colored, then remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Put pearl onion, carrot, pepper and herbs into the casserole pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat, until they are a bit colored.
  • Sprinkle veggies with tapioca flour and stir it, then add the reserved liquid marinade slowly, and constantly whisk. Once it starts boiling add the chicken to the veggies, when it boils again, cover the casserole pan with its lid and put it into the oven to cook for 45 minutes, until the chicken is soft.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add diced bacon and mushroom. Sauté them on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Season it, but be careful, because the bacon could be very salty.
  • When the chicken is soft, add the bacon and mushroom mixture, stir them gently.
  • Serve Coq au Vin hot, sprinkled with parsley on the top.