French Recipe: How To Cook The Perfect Coq Au Vin!

Coq au vin is a signature dish of French cuisine as it combines numerous ingredients that are typically associated with France, such as chicken, mushrooms, and red wine. Legend has it that Julius Caesar once enjoyed the rich and hearty dish, although the origin of the recipe is assumed to date back even further.

Preparation time: 30m

Cooking time: 2h


Serves: 4

  • 1 chicken (around 3kg), cut into pieces
  • 1 bottle full-bodied red wine
  • 130g bacon, chopped
  • 130g mushrooms
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 carrot, cut into slices
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bouquet garni (3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 bay leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 30ml cognac
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt


As this recipe requires the chicken and vegetables to marinate for a few hours, we recommend starting to prepare it the night or morning before.

First, marinate the chicken by placing it in a large bowl with the onion and the carrots. Pour the wine over the chicken and add the bouquet garni as well as the peppercorns. 

Cover the dish and let it marinate overnight (or for a day if you are preparing it in the morning) in the fridge.

Drain the chicken and the vegetables but keep the marinade. Pat the chicken and vegetables dry with kitchen roll and strain the marinade.

Next, heat up the oil in a casserole dish before adding the chicken pieces and leave them to cook until golden on all sides.

Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the casserole dish and replace it with the vegetables. Allow the vegetables to cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle the flour over them while stirring to make sure you cover them thoroughly.

Now, add the chicken pieces again as well as the crushed garlic clove. Heat up the cognac, pour it in the casserole dish and flambé it.

Cover everything with a generous amount of the red wine marinade and add the beef stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; then cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Leave it to simmer for 2.5 hours at a low heat.

Cut the mushrooms into slices and fry them in a pan with the bacon for 5 to 10 minutes. Add them to the casserole dish 15 minutes before serving. Add more seasoning if necessary.

Did You Know?

Although the original recipe calls for a red Burgundy wine, many local varieties exist. If you travel around France you may come across Coq au Riesling, a wine from the Alsace region, or Coq au Champagne from, as the name suggests, the Champagne region.

coq au vin