Creamy Coq au Vin Recipe – A rustic classic French chicken dish with a luxurious creamy wine sauce, mushrooms, and pearl onions.
Still looking for that perfect cozy, yet elegant, dish to make for Christmas dinner?
Here it is guys… Our Creamy Coq au Vin Recipe!
This classic rustic French dish is traditionally made with chicken slow-cooked in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions.
It’s similar to a chicken stew, yet made with bone-in chicken, with a saucy broth for dunking crusty french bread.
Our modernized recipe would make a brilliant centerpiece to your holiday table.
Coq au Vin Issues
Ok… I know I’m supposed to love and admire classic coq au vin. Yet secretly, I have always felt it was lacking something.
It has to do with the broth.
Traditionally you cook the chicken and vegetables down in wine, creating a rich robust sauce. However, it’s so thin!
Some recipes add a little flour to thicken the broth. But still, when you lift the chicken out of the pot, it’s naked.
Therefore, our biggest improvement upon this beloved French recipe is to thicken the broth into a rich gravy with a creamy finish.
As you can see, this silky wine gravy coats and flavors the chicken from the pot to the plate. It’s absolutely divine over mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, and with bread.
What Kind of Chicken is Used for Coq au Vin?
In the earliest Coq au Vin recipes found rooster (coq) was used. They were cooked in the wine for a lengthy time to tenderize the meat.
However, nowadays simple bone-in chicken pieces will do. You can buy a whole fryer, cut into pieces. Or buy just the pieces you like.
I used all drumsticks and chicken thighs.
What Wine is Best for Coq au Vin?
Traditionally red Burgundy wine is used in Coq au Vin. Red Burgundy’s are primarily made with Pinot Noir grapes.
Therefore if you can’t find a wine labeled “Burgundy” select another Pinot Noir you know and like.
If you can’t find a Pinot Noir? Select a smooth dry red with fruity notes.
What Do You Eat with Coq au Vin?
Do you eat Coq au Vin on its own, like a stew? Or do you serve it with something else?
I suggest serving it with creamy mashed potatoes. The potatoes act as a starchy base and are wonderful with the thick creamy wine sauce.
Another option is to serve it with roasted potatoes or root vegetables.
Yet, even just a couple slices of good quality French bread will give you an authentic Coq au Vin experience!
Best Method for Cooking Coq au Vin
What should I use to make this Creamy Coq au Vine Recipe… Stovetop, Oven, or Slow Cooker?
Honestly, you can use all three!
Our recipe starts on the stovetop to sauté the bacon and vegetables, then moves to the oven.
However you can keep the dutch oven on the stovetop the entire cooking time. You can also sauté the vegetables, then move everything to a large slow cooker to simmer all day.
We’ve included all three methods in the recipe below!
More Holiday Dinner Ideas
Creamy Coq au Vin Recipe
- 3/4 cup chopped thick-cut bacon
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (could be gluten free)
- 750 ml burgundy wine (like Pinot Noir)
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- 1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, halved and quartered
- 4 large carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 cups frozen pearl onions
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lower the oven rack to make room for a large dutch oven. Prep all the vegetables. Then set a large 6-8 quart dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat.
Add the chopped bacon, and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Then add the onions and garlic, and soften for 3-4 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pot and add the chicken pieces, skin-side-down.
Sprinkle the flour over the chicken, along with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Move the chicken around the dutch oven, flipping to brown each piece on both sides.
Pour the wine into the pot and scrape the bottom to deglaze. Add in the brandy, mushrooms, carrots, pearl onions, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. (Sometimes I tie the fresh herbs in a little boutique to make them easier to remove later... a bouquet garni.)
Cover the dutch oven and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the chicken and carrots are very soft.
Open the dutch oven. Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs. Then stir in the heavy cream. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.
SERVE WITH: Roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, or crusty french bread.
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: You can make this recipe in a large slow cooker! However, you do need to sauté the bacon, onions, garlic, and flour in a skillet before adding to the crockpot. Then place everything in the slow cooker, except the cream. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Stir in the cream at the end.
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Don't want to use the oven or slow cooker? Once you add the wine, vegetables, and herbs, cover the pot. Turn the burner on low and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat when the chicken and carrots are cooked through. Stir in the cream.
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