Coq au vin in a rectangular serving dish with spoon

Coq au vin

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(46 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins

More effort

Serves 6

We've made this classic French chicken casserole a little lighter than the traditional version, but it still has a rich, deep flavour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal420
  • fat13.2g
  • saturates3.2g
  • carbs7.3g
  • sugars1.7g
  • fibre1.3g
  • protein46.9g
  • salt1.4g


  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 3 rashers (100g) dry-cured, smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped
  • 12 small shallots, peeled



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 free-range chicken legs (460g), skin removed
  • 4 free-range chicken thighs with bone and skin (650g), skin removed
  • 2 free-range, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (280g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 600ml red wine
  • 150ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves, to make a bouquet garni


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

For the mushrooms

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g chestnut mushroom, halved if large

For the thickener

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 tsp softened butter


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof dish. Tip in 3 trimmed and chopped smoked back bacon rashers and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

  2. Add 12 peeled shallots to the pan and fry, stirring or shaking the pan often, for 5-8 mins until well browned all over. Remove and set aside with the bacon.

  3. Take 2 chicken legs, 4 chicken thighs and 2 boneless chicken breasts, all with skin removed and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  4. Pour ½ tbsp olive oil into the pan, then fry half the chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 5-8 mins until well browned. Remove, then repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove and set aside.

  5. Scatter in 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and fry briefly, then, with the heat medium-high, pour in 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.

  6. Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pan along with any juices, then pour in a little of 600ml red wine, stirring the bottom of the pan again.

  7. Stir in the rest of the wine, 150ml good-quality chicken stock and 2 tsp tomato purée. Drop in 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves to make a bouquet garni, season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then return the bacon and shallots to the pan.

  8. Cover, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add the chicken breasts and cook for 50 mins - 1hr.

  9. Just before ready to serve, heat 1 ½ tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large, and fry over a high heat for a few mins until golden. Remove and keep warm.

  10. Lift the chicken, shallots and bacon from the pan and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni.

  11. To make the thickener, mix 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 ½ tsp olive oil and 1 tsp softened butter in a small bowl using the back of a teaspoon.

  12. Bring the wine mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually drop in small pieces of the thickener, whisking each piece in using a wire whisk. Simmer for 1-2 mins.

  13. Scatter the mushrooms over the chicken, then pour over the wine sauce. Garnish with a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Tina Wilby's picture
Tina Wilby
25th Feb, 2020
It took at least an hour to prep this! I followed the instructions to the letter. Could have done with being told what heat level to cook the bacons, shallots etc with... I set the timer for 50 minutes cover and simmer time rather than the optional 1hour. With 20 minutes to go, I took a peek and found all of the sauce had dried up and the chicken looked black! I served it up, as I’d invested 2 and a half hours plus loads of money to make this. It was awful. Don’t understand the positive reviews.
Nick Mackin's picture
Nick Mackin
15th Feb, 2020
That's two and a half hours of my life that I will never get back. This recipe is overly complex, and for very little result. Perhaps we did something wrong, but we ended up with some really bland chicken that had not absorbed the flavours of the sauce. And, frankly, the sauce was not worth wasting a bottle of wine on, let alone all of the other ingredients.
25th Dec, 2019
It turned out very tasty, but there is not enough gravy for that much chicken. We cooked only 4 thighs (biggish thighs), and we could have stretched the gravy for one more thigh tops. Two additional chicken breasts would have been too much. We also cooked the thighs with the skins on. We used a Tesco Finest Pinot Noir from New Zealand. As for thickening the gravy, we used a stick blender to mix the thickener in and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
22nd Sep, 2019
This is absolutely delicious, but such a blooming unnecessary faff to make! I think I spent as long reading (and re-reading) this very wordy recipe, as I did making it! Be prepared, and don't bother with the thickening agent, just reduce the sauce, and if needed, use a bit of cornflour to thicken.
14th Sep, 2019
Absolutely delicious - made it a few times and always so good. I had some picky guests come over who hate pungent herbs so left out the boquet garni (just used bay leaves) but it was still really flavourful. So, if you don’t have the herbs to hand, I promise it will still be really tasty!
ExiledRoyal's picture
6th Jun, 2019
I slow-cook this. Follow the recipe to #7, and chuck it all in the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours. Turn the chicken a couple of times if you're around. Remove the bouquet garni and add the thickener about an hour before serving. Done it several times and it works every time.
22nd Jan, 2019
Beautiful dish, cooked this for myself and my hubby and it really was lovely. Clean plates all round. Just follow the recipe as it stands and you will make a fabulous meal. We have enough left overs for lunch tomorrow.
Nigel Richards's picture
Nigel Richards
17th Nov, 2018
Thank you. Quite possibly my favourite recipe ever. Easy and delicious.
3rd Mar, 2018
Really delicious. Would recommend keeping the skins after removing and serving them crispy on top.
11th Feb, 2018
Absolutely delicious! Used thigh boneless and skinless fillets & divided the recipe by 3 to serve two which worked well. The tip for thickening the sauce at the end will definitely come in useful for other casserole dishes.


Andreas Karlsson's picture
Andreas Karlsson
7th Feb, 2020
We have friends coming over tonight and we finished up to step 8, then let it chill and in the fridge. We will re-heat and do the mushroom/thickener tonight. Would you have any beat practice of how to re-heat the chicken and juice before removing the chicken for the thickener? Thanks, Andreas
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Feb, 2020
Hello, we recommend warming the whole thing on the hob before removing the chicken and keeping it covered in a low oven whilst you continue with the thickener. Thanks for your question!
14th Mar, 2019
Would it be possible to cook this in the oven instead of on the hob?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can do the main part of the cooking (step 8) in the oven at 180C/ 160 fan/ gas 4 for around an hour or until the chicken is cooked through. However as there's quite a bit that needs to happen on the hob, we'd suggest it's easier just to leave it there.
Carole Mcgillivray
15th Feb, 2017
I want to make this for a dinner party. Can I make it a day in advance, let it go cold then re heat it the following day or would the chicken get dry ? ? (I'm going to use skinless and boneless chicken thighs) and if I can re-heat the next day, how long for ?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Feb, 2017
You can make this the day before. We'd suggest making and assembling it, then reheating on the hob or in the oven until piping hot. Don't over-stir or the chicken may start to fall apart. Scatter the parsley at the end.
24th Mar, 2016
Hi I am looking to make this for the weekend but ideally want to make tomorrow and freeze for Saturday - has anyone frozen this recipe and do i completely defrost and just re-heat in the oven?
goodfoodteam's picture
20th May, 2016
Yes you can freeze this in the thickened gravy. Defrost it completely then reheat it fully in the oven or in a pan, but be careful not to stir it too much or you will break up the chicken. Cook the mushrooms on the day for the best results.
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