Coq au vin

Coq au vin

1 h
Coq au vin is a classic French stew with braised chicken or cockerel, onions, herbs, and a silky, flavourful red wine sauce. With our simple coq au vin recipe, it is surprisingly easy to make at home so you can enjoy the rich, mouth-watering flavours. Serve the rustic coq au vin with mashed potatoes, rice, or bread.


  • Clean the cockerel and cut it into 8-10 pieces. Remove the skin and tendons from the outer part of the thighs.
  • Put the bacon bits in a frying pan and fry them for approx. 2 minutes while stirring. Remove them from the pan.
  • Add butter to the frying pan and brown pearl onions and mushrooms for approx. 2 minutes.
  • Remove the onions and mushrooms and brown the cockerel pieces in 2 rounds approx. 3 minutes on all sides. Put the meat in a pot and sprinkle it with flour.
  • Add bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, wine, stock, and spices.
  • Let the coq au vin cook over low heat with a lid on top for approx. 35 minutes until the cockerel is tender without falling apart. Place meat and vegetables on a warm plate.
  • Cook the sauce over high heat without a lid for approx. 5 minutes or until there is roughly 700 ml left.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and mix the sauce with cold butter. Season to taste and pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with mashed potatoes, rice, or bread.

Make sure to use fresh and good-quality ingredients. Use mushrooms that are mild and do not overpower the flavours of the stew. Button mushrooms work well for this dish as they are mild in taste with an earthy flavour and nutty notes.


If you have leftovers, do not worry. Coq au vin tastes especially delicious if you leave it overnight in the fridge, giving the flavours of the stew more time to develop and meld together. Also, coq au vin keeps well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and you can reheat leftovers for dinner in the microwave at medium heat or in a saucepan on the stove – just remember to stir occasionally.

Questions about coq au vin

If you have always wanted to know how to make an easy coq au vin, we have the best recipe for you. Below, you can learn more and find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the French classic.

What is coq au vin?
Coq au vin roughly translates to ‘rooster with/in wine' and is a classic French stew made with rooster, cockerel, or chicken braised in a red wine sauce with bacon, herbs, and mushrooms. Traditionally, the rustic dish called for a rooster or cockerel, but today, many versions use chicken instead.
How to make coq au vin?
First, prep the cockerel and cut it into pieces – remember to remove skin and tendons from the thighs. Next, fry the bacon for about 2 minutes until is crispy. Remove the bacon and add butter, pearl onions, and mushrooms to the pan. Once they are done, set the mushrooms and onions aside and brown the cockerel on all sides. Place the meat in a pot with the bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, wine, stock, and spices. Let the coq au vin cook over low heat until the meat is tender. Finally, prepare the sauce and pour it over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley for a final flourish.
What to serve with coq au vin?
The French classic is a wonderful dish to enjoy with creamy mashed potatoes, crusty bread, or plain white rice. You can pair it with anything starchy that will soak up the delicious flavours of the wine sauce. You can also serve it with a vinegary salad or brussels sprouts in a balsamic vinaigrette that will cut through the richness of the dish.
What is the best wine for coq au vin?
Coq au vin is traditionally made with a red Burgundy wine, but in many French regions, it is made using local wines. We highly recommend a cabernet sauvignon with bold, rich, dark fruit flavours that will match the hearty taste of the dish. As an alternative, pinot noir is also a good choice. The dry red wine has a fruity flavour that is not too overpowering and pairs well with chicken and other lighter meats.
Can you freeze coq au vin?
You can freeze coq au vin for up to 3 months. To prep the dish for freezing, let it cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers and placing it in the freezer. Be sure to leave enough room for the dish to expand during freezing. If you are using freezer bags, be extra careful that there is no spillage.


Cockerel or large free-range chicken (approx. 2 ¼ kg)
Diced bacon
125 g
25 g
Peeled pearl onions
Cleaned mushrooms
250 g
Wheat flour
2 tbsp
Red wine, for example, Cabernet Sauvignon
½ l
Chicken stock
300 ml
Small garlic cloves in half
Fresh thyme leaves
50 ml
Bay leaves
Coarse salt
½ tsp
Freshly ground pepper
Cold butter in cubes
25 g
Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 dl
For serving
Mashed potatoes, rice, or whole grain sandwich bread

Classic French coq au vin

Master the art of French cooking with our recipe for coq au vin. The list of ingredients might overwhelm you at first, but if you follow the instructions carefully, you will have no problem recreating the rustic French classic. It all adds up to a wonderfully magnificent stew full of rich and earthy flavours that is easier to make than it might look. Treat yourself to a tasteful experience with one of the most elegant and luxurious stews you will ever have.

Discover the world of French gastronomy with other recipes like classic quiche Lorraine, salade Niçoise with olives, tuna, and potatoes, or crêpes Suzette soaked in an orange-infused sauce.

Choose the best red wine

High-quality wine is not only essential for the rich flavour, but the acidity of the wine also tenderises the meat, making earthy wines the perfect match. A full-bodied cabernet sauvignon is a great option as the wine is high in acidity and has a rich, dark fruit flavour with notes of wood and vanilla.

Burgundy wine is traditionally used for coq au vin, so wine like pinot noir is also an obvious choice. The dry wine is easy to pair with lighter meats and has floral and earthy notes that are not too overpowering. But most importantly, a good-quality wine is the best wine for coq au vin if you want to get a full, deep, and savoury flavour that goes perfectly with the other ingredients.

Experience a sensation of deep flavours and tender meat

Our coq au vin creates an incredible sensation with a deeply savoury flavour from its luscious, glossy red wine sauce infused with aromatic herbs and bacon. The crunchy bits of bacon add a nice contrast to the silky sauce and tender meat, while thyme, bay leaves, and parsley provide the stew with aromatic hints that complement the mild red wine taste.

Whether you use cockerel, rooster, chicken, or other poultry, you are guaranteed tender meat. The traditional recipe was developed to make tough meat more edible, which is why the poultry is seared and braised in a small amount of liquid. The long and slow cooking method helps develop flavour and tenderness. So, take your time to make this dish properly; you will not regret the extra amount of time spent on tenderising the meat.

Try a coq au vin blanc with white wine

Although a classic, you can easily experiment a bit with the recipe. Coq au vin blanc is a delicious variation of the classic version that uses white wine instead of red wine. White wine creates a subtler flavour so the other ingredients can shine while keeping your tastebuds tingling. As for the white wine, we suggest going with a dry wine with a crisp, citrusy blend that is not overly sweet, for example, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or dry Riesling, giving you the perfect flavour balance in the coq au vin blanc.

Even though both versions are delicious all year round, the classic coq au vin is perfect for autumn or winter weather with its bold, warm red wine flavour, while coq au vin blanc is perfect in the springtime or summer with a glass of cold white wine on the side, and can be mixed with different spring vegetables such as asparagus, for example.