Coq au Vin with Red Wine Sauce Recipe: A Timeless and Flavorful Dish

Discover the Secret Ingredient Behind Classic French Dish Coq au Vin and Learn to Cook It at Home

Coq au Vin is a classic French dish that features chicken slowly simmered in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. But did you know there’s a secret ingredient that gives this dish its unique flavor? Find out what it is and how you can recreate this French favorite in your own kitchen.

French Coq au Vin is a classic dish that has been enjoyed in France for centuries. With its rich and hearty flavors, this dish has been a favorite among the French for generations. Traditionally made with poultry, bacon, and red wine, this dish is loved for its tender meat and flavorful sauce.

The origins of this dish can be traced back to the Burgundy region of France, where it was made using local ingredients. Burgundy is known for its red wine, which is a key ingredient in this recipe, and is also known for its poultry. In fact, Coq au Vin translates to “rooster in wine”, making it clear that this dish was originally made with a male chicken. Over time, the recipe has evolved to include other cuts of chicken, such as thighs and drumsticks.

One of the key ingredients in Coq au Vin is red wine. The wine is used to flavor the dish and is also used to tenderize the meat. The alcohol in the wine helps to break down the proteins in the meat, making it more tender and flavorful. The addition of brandy also adds a depth of flavor to the dish, making it a truly decadent meal.

Overall, French Coq au Vin is a dish that has stood the test of time. Its rich and hearty flavors make it the perfect meal for a cold winter night, and its heritage adds to its allure. So why not try your hand at making this classic dish today? Your family and friends will be sure to be impressed with the traditional French flavors of this delicious meal.

Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making French Coq au Vin

Cut the Fat

Trim visible fat from the chicken before cooking. The bacon fat will provide plenty of rich flavor, and removing excess fat will make the dish healthier.

Choose Your Wine Wisely

A full-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Burgundy is perfect for Coq au Vin. Avoid using cooking wine, as it often contains added salt and preservatives. Use a wine that you would drink, and save a glass to enjoy with your meal.

Prep Ahead of Time

This recipe can be made a day ahead of time, and flavors will only improve with time. If you’re planning to make ahead, store it in the refrigerator until ready to reheat.

Don’t Overcook the Chicken

Check the temperature of the chicken thighs and drumsticks with a meat thermometer before removing from the oven. The internal temperature should be 165°F. Overcooking the chicken will cause it to dry out.

Thicken the Sauce

If the sauce is not thick enough, remove the cooked chicken from the pot and simmer the sauce on the stovetop until it reaches your desired thickness.

Take Care with the Brandy

Be careful when adding the brandy to the dish, as it can ignite. Remove the pot from the heat or lower the heat to low before adding the brandy.

Consider Serving Suggestions

Coq au Vin is traditionally served with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes. You can also serve it with rice, noodles, or steamed vegetables.

Storage and Reheating Advice

Coq au Vin can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F or on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

How Many Calories are in French Coq au Vin?

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings per Recipe

Calories: 710

  • Total Fat: 44g
    • Saturated Fat: 13g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 27g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 255mg
  • Sodium: 1100mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 13g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1g
    • Total Sugars: 5g
    • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 50g

What Drinks Pair Best with French Coq au Vin?

Wine pairing: A suitable wine pairing for Classic French Coq au Vin would be a full-bodied red wine such as a Burgundy Pinot Noir or Bordeaux. The tannins and depth of the wine complement the complex flavors of the dish.

Beer pairing: A rich and full-bodied red wine, such as a Burgundy or Pinot Noir, would pair well with the Classic French Coq au Vin. The wine’s earthy notes and tannins complement the dish’s flavors of chicken, bacon, and red wine sauce.

Cocktail pairing: A suitable cocktail pairing for Classic French Coq au Vin is a classic red wine sangria.

How to Make French Coq au Vin

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  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white pearl onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or oven-proof pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
  3. Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and pepper, and brown in the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and pearl onions to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the red wine and chicken stock, and stir well, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the chicken, bacon, bay leaves, dried thyme, and brandy to the pot, and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover the pot and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Remove the pot from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Serve hot with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes, and enjoy your Classic French Coq au Vin!