Chicken With Red Wine Sauce


Chicken with Red Wine Sauce is a delicious meal that you only need a few ingredients and five minutes to make. Chicken with red wine sauce is rich in flavor, tender and juicy. It’s certain to become a family favorite quickly! The leftover also go great on top of noodles or served over rice as left overs!

Roast Chicken and Mushrooms With Red Wine Sauce

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 2 servings


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2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (12 to 14 ounces each)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound oyster and/or maitake mushrooms, trimmed and torn into pieces

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup dry red wine

1/2 teaspoon sugarAdd to Shopping List


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, then add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, skin-side up; reserve the skillet. 
  2. Toss the mushrooms with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper; scatter around the chicken on the baking sheet. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees F, about 25 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, whisking. Add the wine, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Spoon some of the red wine sauce onto each plate; top with the chicken and mushrooms. 

Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

This Chicken in Red Wine Sauce recipe delivers a rich and deeply flavoured braise with red wine, mushrooms and onions that tastes like it was in the oven all day, except that it wasn’t.

For an alternative easy & tasty chicken dish, try these Mediterranean Oven-Baked Chicken Drumsticks

  •  15 minutes
  •  45 minutes
  •  4 portions


4 chicken breasts, skin on
250 ml red wine
½ bunch thyme, tied with string
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Knob of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp redcurrant jelly
200 ml chicken
1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
2 tsp cornflour


  1. Season the chicken and place in a dish. Pour over the wine. Add the bunched thyme and garlic.  Leave to marinate for 30 minutes or as long as possible.
  2. Heat a frying pan . Add the oil and butter and fry the chicken skin side down until brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat a little oil in the pan.  Add the onion and fry until soft. Add the chestnut mushrooms and brown over the heat. Add the marinade and reduce over a high heat by half. Add the stock, redcurrant jelly and chicken. Season.  Cover with a lid and gently simmer for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Remove the bunched thyme and add the thyme leaves. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water , then add to the chicken and stir until thickened.

coq au vin recipe

A slow oven-braise is what makes these chicken thighs so tender!  The wine and mushroom infused sauce are heavenly over a bed of egg noodles or mashed potatoes, or just use a crust of French bread to soak up the sauce.

Total: 4 hours 50 minutes

coq au vin recipe (chicken in red wine sauce)

This take on traditional Coq Au Vin (chicken stewed in red wine sauce) is based on Julia Child’s recipe with a few twists. I’ve scaled the recipe for 2-4 people, using everyday ingredients like chicken thighs, mushrooms, carrots and infused the sauce with a simple dried mushroom powder to lend another umami kick. This easy chicken in red wine sauce is unbeatable. 

This post has been updated since its original publication in 2015.

the ingredients for coq au vin with chicken thighs.

coq au vin -a brief history and lore

Coq au vin (pronounced kawk aw –van) gained notoriety largely because of Julia Child’s inclusion of it in her cooking tome, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. She also prepared it twice on her PBS cooking show, The French Chef.

Though there is lore that traces this humble chicken and red wine stew back to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar, it wasn’t actually documented until the early 20th century. That doesn’t mean that this delicious chicken stew recipe wasn’t already a regular on the dinner menu, just that there isn’t proof of it. After all there’s documentation of a chicken in white wine (poulet au vin blanc) which appeared in print in an 1864 cookbook.

what is coq au vin?

Let’s set a few things straight here… A “coq” is a rooster in French… not a chicken. So this dish actually translates to rooster in red wine.

You might be asking yourself, “who would eat a rooster?” Well, in a “beggars can’t be choosers” world, you eat what you can. And while roosters aren’t typically tender and juicy, a good, long braise can remedy that.

Nowadays, coq au vin is usually made with chicken pieces instead of an old rooster, however braising the meat in a dutch oven is still the method of choice.

For this coq au vin recipe, I use readily available (and relatively inexpensive) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because the dark meat doesn’t dry out during cooking and the chicken thigh meat pairs vert well with the red wine sauce.

ingredients for chicken in red wine sauce

  • Red Wine Reduction
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Thighs
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • Button Mushrooms (or cremini)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Chicken Broth
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Pearl Onions
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Butter
  • Flour
Simmer a bottle of red wine for about 15 minutes to reduce the volume to about 1 – 1 1/2 cups.

best wine for coq au vin

The wine sauce is what makes any Coq Au Vin recipe special and it starts with a bottle of drinkable red wine. You don’t have to get fancy with an expensive bottle, but it should be good enough that you’d enjoy a glass of it. I usually stick to a $10-$12 bottle that I wouldn’t mind serving with dinner.

how to make a red wine reduction

  • Pour a bottle of red wine into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a moderate simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered until the wine is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: A full bottle of wine contains just over 3 cups, so essentially, you want to reduce liquid by a little more than half.  You can eyeball it, but I use a glass measuring cup after 15 minutes just to gauge how much longer the wine should reduce.

While the red wine reduction is simmering, prep the rest of the ingredients.

building flavors for coq au vin for 2

Traditional coq au vin is a braised chicken stew built on layers of flavors, starting with lardons or bacon…

  1. Crisp the bacon in a heavy dutch oven and transfer it to a dish lined with paper towels.
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully add the chicken thighs to the rendered bacon fat pot and sear them until golden brown.  See how we’re developing layers of flavor?

do i need a dutch oven to make chicken and red wine stew?

Not necessarily, though it is my favorite method.

dutch oven:

I like to use my enameled Dutch Oven (Le Creuset, Lodge, Cuisinart) for braising because it provides a slow and even heat, sealing in all the juices, this is the way you would normally prepare a traditional coq au vin — and it’s convenient because it sears and sautés on the stovetop and you just transfer it to the oven to braise.

crock pot/slow cooker:

You can also use a crock pot or other slow cooker for chicken in red wine, but you’ll need to sear the chicken thighs and sauté the vegetables in another pan on the  stovetop before assembling the chicken in red wine sauce. Follow the instructions for assembling the chicken and red wine sauce as the recipe  shows but cook in the slow cooker on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.

instant pot/pressure cooker:

If you have an Instant Pot, you can follow the recipe as it’s written for the dutch oven, but you may need to sear the chicken thighs in two batches, depending on the size of your pressure cooker.  Assemble the ingredients and cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes.  Let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally.

sliced mushrooms, carrots, thyme and mushroom powder.

layering the flavors for chicken in red wine sauce

  1. After searing the chicken, remove all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon and chicken fat.
  2. Add the mire poix of vegetables to the dutch oven and sauté, stirring occasionally until the veg is tender. Transfer the vegetables to a small bowl.
  3. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pot and sauté until they give up their liquid and begin to brown.  The  liquid from the mushrooms will loosen the fond (the browned, stuck on bits in the bottom of the dutch oven). Fond is flavor and adds a meaty dimension to the vegetables.
  4. Add the vegetables back to the pot and  stir in the tomato paste to coat the vegetables.
  5. Cook until the vegetables are coated and the tomato paste is starting to caramelize and become fragrant.
making mushroom powder using dried mushrooms.
A spice grinder will transform dried mushrooms into a fine powder.

what is mushroom powder?

This is a bit different from Julia Child’s coq au vin recipe, because I’m adding mushroom powder.  What is it?  Essentially, it’s dried mushrooms that I blend to a fine powder in my spice grinder. It intensifies the red wine reduction and adds body to the wine sauce. I feel certain that if Julia knew about this… she’d use it.

If you don’t have dried mushrooms, you can skip the powder (this time), but you’ll definitely want to remember it for the next time you make it.

Assembling the red wine, vegetables and broth in a dutch oven, then adding the chicken thighs and the rest of the ingredients.
Assembling the coq au vin in the dutch oven with seared chicken thighs, red wine reduction, veggies & herbs is easy.

assembling the chicken in red wine

  1. Add the mushroom powder to the mushrooms and vegetables, stirring well.
  2. Pour in the red wine reduction, chicken stock, bundle of fresh herbs and stir well to combine.
  3. Stir in the pearl onions (I used frozen, which are already blanched and skinned).
  4. Return the chicken thighs to the braise, skin side up.
  5. Cover the pot tightly with the lid and transfer to the oven to braise.
coq au vin before and after braising.

As the chicken in red wine cooks, the house is filled with the most amazing aromas. Rich and enticing. Your mouth will be watering the whole time this chicken stew is braising.

making a beurre manie.
Beurre manié is a simple way to thicken and enrich sauces and gravies. Make sure there are no dry bits of flour left.

One of the best parts of this red wine braised chicken stew is the silky, rich sauce. In order to achieve the right consistency it needs to be thickened. Many recipes use a cornstarch and water slurry but I prefer a traditional French way to thicken the sauce, known as a beurre manié.

Beurre Manié: (pronounced burr mon-yay) –  is simply a mixture of flour and butter, mashed together to form a paste.

If you add flour directly to a hot pot of wine sauce, it will clump instead of dissolving into the sauce. However, coating the flour with butter (fat) allows it to blend smoothly, with no lumps, into the red wine sauce thickening it and adding a silky, glossy look and texture.

This is the method I use for my coq au vin — and it’s the same method used in Julia Child’s recipe as well.

how to thicken chicken red wine stew:

  1. In a small dish combine equal parts butter and flour.
  2. Use the tines of a fork to mash the two ingredients together until a thick paste forms.
  3. Be certain that there are no dry bits of flour before stirring the paste into the coq au vin. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the beurre manié is dissolved and the sauce is glossy and velvety.


Can I make coq au vin in advance?

Yes. In fact, its actually better if you let the chicken stew rest in the refrigerator overnight, so the flavors can marry.

Can I use other chicken parts?

Yes. Feel free to use chicken drumsticks. You can also use a cut up fryer.

How long will leftovers last?

They’ll be good in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Can I freeze coq au vin?

You can, for up to 2 months.

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