This version for a quick and easy Coq Au Vin is made with tender chicken thighs in a sauce of wine, mushrooms, and bacon. It’s a rustic classic, loaded with authentic French flavor.
Winter is upon us, friends, and it’s time for stick-to-your-ribs cooking. For this recipe, I take boneless, skinless chicken thighs and make a delicious meal by adding in some dry red wine, sweet carrots, dainty pearl onions, and baby bellas. Throw a little bacon in there, and it’s an incredible feast that will delight your tastebuds!
Why We Love Coq Au Vin
- Simplified Classic: This recipe takes the traditional, time-intensive Coq au Vin and adapts it for a more convenient, weeknight-friendly cooking.
- Rich, Robust Flavor: The use of dry red wine in the recipe creates a deep, rich flavor profile that is both luxurious and hearty.
- Affordable Elegance: While Coq au Vin is a dish with a “fancy” French reputation, this recipe demystifies it and makes it accessible using common, affordable ingredients.
Coq Au Vin Ingredients
- Flour: To dredge the chicken pieces.
- Dried Herbs: Dried thyme and dried parsley add a certain sharpness and sweetness to the recipe.
- Salt and Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper gives the best result.
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Olive Oil: A little bit of olive oil is used for frying the chicken.
- Bacon: You can also use pancetta, if you have it, or prosciutto.
- Butter: A small amount of butter adds richness to the sauce.
- Pearl Onions: Pearl onions are a traditional element in coq au vin.
- Mushrooms: My favorite are baby bella, but you could use any kind of mushroom here.
- Carrots: Cut two washed and peeled carrots into 1/8-inch coins.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is my secret ingredient for full-flavored soups, stews, and sauces!
- Chicken Broth: A bit of broth helps to give the sauce the right strength.
- Wine: You’ll need a dry red wine, not sweet. Burgundy wines are traditional here, but any decent drinking wine will do. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh thyme and parsley make a beautiful optional garnish.
How to Make Quick And Easy Coq Au Vin
- Prepare and Brown Chicken: Mix flour (or cornstarch), herbs, salt, and pepper on a plate. Coat chicken pieces in this mixture, shake off excess, and brown in olive oil over medium-high heat. Once browned, set aside.
- Cook Bacon and Vegetables: In the same pan, cook bacon until slightly crispy. Add butter, followed by onions, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Make the Sauce: Stir in tomato paste with vegetables, cook for a minute, then add chicken broth and wine. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer Chicken: Return chicken thighs and any juices to the pan, reducing heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, then check for doneness. Continue cooking if needed until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender.
- Serve: Remove from heat, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve with your preferred sides.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Add Extra Flavor: Enhance the dish with a minced shallot or a splash of brandy for added complexity. Courvoisier is a recommended choice for the brandy.
- White Meat Option: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, but be mindful of the cooking time.
- Use Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken: For more flavor, opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces. Be prepared to extend the cooking time to about 40 minutes, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
- Wine Selection: Choose a wine you enjoy drinking. Affordable options like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir are great for Coq au Vin.
- White Coq Au Vin: Try a white wine version of this dish using dry white wines like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or dry Riesling.
- Onion Varieties: While pearl onions are traditional, feel free to substitute with chopped yellow or white onions, or even leeks.
- Marinating the Chicken: For enhanced flavor, marinate the chicken in wine while prepping the other ingredients.
Coq au vin is traditionally served with something starchy like mashed potatoes, mushroom rice, or you could serve it with this simple French onion pasta. For a lighter alternative to potatoes, make this instant pot mashed cauliflower or my crispy parmesan air fryer Brussels sprouts. A classic Caesar salad is a good pairing, but so is this very berry avocado salad.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store your leftovers, let the coq au vin cool to room temperature and then place it in the fridge, covered, for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To reheat, place the chicken, veggies, and sauce in a heavy-bottomed covered pot over low heat. Cook until the chicken is fully heated through, but do not overcook or the chicken may become tough.
More Chicken Recipes to Try
- Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Vegetables
- Smothered Chicken and Gravy
- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken Vesuvio
- Chicken Madeira
Quick and Easy Coq Au Vin
- ¼ cup cornstarch, or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 to 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 to 10 pearl onions
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into coins
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dry red wine, use your favorite dry red wine, like, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, etc…
- chopped fresh thyme, for garnish
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a shallow plate, combine cornstarch or flour, thyme, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper; mix until incorporated.
- Dip the chicken into the cornstarch mixture to coat on both sides; shake off any excess.
- Heat olive oil in a large high-sided skillet, or a 4-quart braiser, set over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken thighs to the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned.
- Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Return pan to the burner and add the diced bacon; cook for 2 minutes, or until just starting to crisp up.
- Add butter. Stir in the onions, mushrooms, and carrots; add remaining salt and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and wine; bring to a boil. Return chicken thighs to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender. Chicken is cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Remove from heat. Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Garnish with thyme and parsley, and serve.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: I highly recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe, but you can also use chicken breasts as an alternative. Keep an eye on the cooking times, as chicken breasts tend to cook faster.
- Use Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken: Switch to bone-in, skin-on chicken for a richer flavor. This choice may require a longer cooking time, up to 40 minutes, to ensure the meat reaches a safe internal temperature of 165˚F.
- Selecting Your Wine: When picking a wine for this dish, choose what you’d typically enjoy drinking. Budget-friendly wines like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir are excellent choices for Coq au Vin.
- Onion Options: Although pearl onions are the classic choice, you can easily substitute them with chopped varieties of yellow or white onions.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge, covered, for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.