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Coq au Vin
(Chicken Cooked in Wine)

Coq au Vin is the most classic of classic rustic French dishes. Traditionally made from a cockerel then marinated in Pinot Noir, it will work just as well with a large chicken. Serve it family-style with mashed potatoes, noodles, or just a large baguette for a perfect taste of France.

A pan of Coq au Vin garnished with parsley by Simon Majumdar

Coq au Vin (Chicken Cooked in Wine) Recipe

(Serves About 4)


  • 1 Large Whole Chicken (Broken down into 8 pieces – or you can use pre-cut chicken leg/thigh quarters)

  • 3 Carrots (Peeled and Diced)

  • 3 Stalks of Celery (Peeled and Diced)

  • 1 Large White Onion (Peeled and Diced)

  • 1 Head Garlic (Sliced Horizontally)

  • ½ Lemon

  • 4 Stalks Fresh Thyme

  • 4 Stalks Fresh Rosemary

  • 1 Bottle Pinot Noir

  • 6 Strips Smoked Bacon (Cut into Thin Batons)

  • 1 Cup White Mushrooms (Sliced)

  • 1 Cup Pearl Onions (Can be Frozen)

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (For Cooking)

  • 1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste

  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock

  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (Mixed with 2-3 Tablespoons Water to Form a Paste)

  • Kosher Salt (To Taste)

  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley


  1. Season your chicken pieces (be it a broken-down chicken or leg/thigh quarters) with salt and pepper on both sides.

  2. Place in a large non-reactive bowl with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, lemon half and the rosemary & thyme. You may wrap the herbs in cheesecloth, if you would like, to make them easier to manage.

  3. Pour over the contents of the bottle of wine and stir so that all of the chicken is covered in your marinade.

  4. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours.

  5. When ready to prepare the dish, remove the chicken from the marinade and dry with a paper towel.

  6. Strain and retain the liquid from the marinade. Set the liquid marinade aside.

  7. Remove the marinated carrots, celery and onion and set aside in a separate bowl.

  8. Peel and mince the marinated garlic.

  9. Keep the marinated herbs and lemon to one side. You will use them while cooking.

  10. In a deep sided frying pan or large Dutch oven, fry the bacon strips until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

  11. In the fat released by the bacon, fry the mushrooms until golden. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

  12. In the same pan, fry the pearl onions until golden. Remove the pearl onions from the pan and set aside.

  13. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan and sear off the chicken pieces until golden on both sides. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside.

  14. Add the marinated carrots, onion, and celery to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

  15. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  16. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  17. Return the chicken to the pan. Skin side up.

  18. Add the reserved wine marinade and the chicken stock.

  19. Add back in the lemon half and the herbs.

  20. Simmer the chicken in the stock until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the liquid has reduced by half.

  21. Remove the herbs and lemon.

  22. Stir in the cornstarch to thicken the sauce a little.

  23. Add the mushrooms, onions and bacon to the pan and combine well.

  24. Check for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper to taste.

  25. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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