This dish is French country comfort food at it's finest. It's an elegant yet rustic meal that is prepared in one pot. Chicken braised in white wine with mushrooms and a touch of cream is a perfect slow-cooked meal that can be made ahead to save on time!
Traditionally a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces is used for Coq au Vin. I've simplified this recipe to use whole legs which are very economical. It also saves time by not having to cut up a chicken. This recipe can be made using any pieces from the bird. I do recommend using bone-in and skin-on for the best flavor. Skin can be removed after cooking if you prefer not to eat it.
Why you will love this recipe
- It serves as both a weekend family meal or a crowd-pleasing dish to serve to guests.
- Everything is cooked in one pot or pan so clean up is minimal.
- This dish is perfect for making ahead. The flavors deepen as it sits and warming it up is easy in the oven or on the stovetop.
- Even the kids will love it! Don't worry, the cooking burns off the alcohol in the wine!
- Perfect for cooking on a budget. If you are looking to impress your guests but don't want to spend a fortune, this dish has you covered!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Please refer to the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and quantities.
- Whole chicken leg quarters - any chicken pieces can be used for this recipe however, it is recommended to use bone-in chicken for braising. Breast meat will be a bit drier so to help with that remove from the braising liquid after 40 minutes. If you prefer not to eat the skin, I still recommend leaving it on for the cooking process and removing before serving.
- Mushrooms - if you don't care for mushrooms you can simply leave them out. You can also increase the amount of carrots or add an additional veg. like celery.
- Bacon - bacon can be omitted for those who don't eat pork. Add 2 tablespoon of oil to the pan before heating and browning the chicken legs.
- White wine - Chose a crisp, dry wine such as a dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, or Chablis. Red wine can also be used to create the classic Coq au Vin. Chose a fruitier medium bodied wine such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel or Cotes du Rhone. No need to break the bank on wine either. A 10 to 12 dollar bottle that you would drink will do just fine.
- All purpose flour - gluten free flour can be substituted.
- Heavy cream for finishing is optional.
How to make this recipe
Please see full instructions in the recipe card below.
Step 1 - Fry the bacon until crispy then remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate.
Step 2 - Cook half the chicken pieces in the hot bacon grease until deep golden brown.
Step 3 - Flip and brown the other side.
Step 4 - Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining pieces.
Step 5 - Cook onions, carrots, and mushrooms until lightly browned and onions are soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute.
Step 6 - Sprinkle flour over vegetables and continue cooking and stirring for one minute.
Step 7 - Add white wine, broth, bay leaves and thyme. Then nestle in the chicken pieces. Bring to a simmer, cover and continue simmering gently for one hour or until the thickest part of the meat registers a minimum 165 degrees F.
Step 8 - Transfer chicken to a plate or serving dish and tent with foil. Continue simmering the sauce until it is slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half of the bacon, 2 tablespoon parsley, and the cream.
To serve either pour sauce over chicken in a serving dish or nestle chicken pieces into the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and parsley.
- Bone-in, skin-on dark chicken pieces are recommended for braising. White meat can be uses but will be drier and take less time to cook. Longer cooking times tenderize dark meat but dries out white meat.
- Expensive wine isn't necessary. Choose a wine that you would drink but a 10 to 12 dollar bottle is just fine. I used a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc that was $10.
The most common version of coq au vin uses red wine. The red wine sauce, which usually includes tomato paste, has a richer, deeper flavor. Made with white wine, coq au vin has a lighter taste. Both are equally delicious and it all comes down to personal taste.
Traditionally this dish is served with something starchy to soak up all the delicious sauce such as mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or crusty bread. Try a non-traditional side such as wild rice, quinoa, couscous, or orzo pasta for a modern twist.
A dry, crisp white wine is best for coq au vin blanc. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, dry Riesling. When choosing a wine always go with one you would be happy to drink.
What to serve with Coq au Vin Blanc
- Something to soak up the sauce such as mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, or crusty bread. If looking for a low-carb option try my Cauliflower and Celery Root Puree.
- Add a bit of freshness with a simple green salad, Easy Fall Salad, or Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw.
- Add an extra vegetable with simple green peas, steamed green beans, asparagus, or my Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts.
Coq au Vin Blanc (Chicken Braised in White Wine)
- 4 large whole chicken legs, bone-in, skin on. (1.8 kg/4 lbs)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 5 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced 1 cm thick (⅜ -inch)
- 450 g cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered or halved if small.
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock, low or no sodium
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped and divided
- ½ cup heavy cream, optional
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cook bacon in a Dutch oven, or deep skillet with a lid, until crispy. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Over medium-high heat, cook half of the chicken pieces, skin side down until browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken and brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken and transfer to plate.
- Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat from pan, or add oil as necessary to achieve 1 tbsp. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, carrots, and mushrooms and cook, occasionally stirring, until starting to lightly brown and onions are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook until it releases its fragrance, about 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Stir in white wine, broth, bay leaves, and thyme scraping up any brown bits that may have accumulated.
- Nestle in the chicken pieces with any juices and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering gently for 1 hour or until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F.
- Transfer chicken to a dish and tent with foil. Bring back to simmer and cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in half of the bacon, 2 tablespoon parsley, and heavy cream, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper. To serve either pour sauce over the chicken or pour sauce into a serving dish and place chicken on top. Sprinkle with the remaining bacon and parsley.