Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

11 Jul

So the name doesn’t literally translate to Chicken in Wine, but it’s close enough.

I have to hand it to the French, that was the best stew I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was intended as a stew, but I served mine with a slice of toasted French bread to soak up all of the delicious left over juices. Talk about developing flavors. SO worth the hour + it had to stew.

Oh, and I should mention that this is a very Americanized version of this French dish, and I tailored it to my personal taste. There was no way I was going to add 5 ounces of pork fat..


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 small-medium shallots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red cooking wine
  • 2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 ounces whole button mushrooms, I used the ones in a jar
  • 8 ounces pearl onions, ends removed and peeled
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c cold water
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cornstarch

1. In a small sauce pan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and cook 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Salt both sides of the chicken breasts. PAM a large skillet, add chicken breasts, and cook over medium-high heat. Flip once the bottom browns – you want it to brown a little. Takes about 5 minutes per side. You’re just browning the chicken, not cooking it through, it can be raw on the inside, you’ll finish cooking it later. When both sides are lightly browned, transfer to a cutting board.

3. If you have a brown coating on the bottom of the pan, that’s good. Add the celery, shallots, and garlic to the pan, scrapping the pan as you stir. Allow the mixture to cook for a few minutes but do not let it burn.

4. Add the red wine, chicken stock, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir. Return to the chicken on the cutting board. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch thick strips, then into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes. Really whatever size chunks you prefer. Add the chicken chunks to the skillet. Stir. Simmer covered, over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.

5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken. In a small bowl or jar, mix 1 tbsp corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water. Add the cornstarch mixture to sauce. Stir. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the button mushrooms and pearl onions. If the sauce is not thick enough – mine was not – combine the remaining 1/4 cup of cold water and 1 tbsp cornstarch in a bowl or jar and add to the sauce. Stir and cook uncovered until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add chicken.

I was aiming for a thick beef stew consistency. Mission accomplished.

Coq au Vin Final

Coq au Vin Chicken

Coq au Vin Stew Thin

Coq au Vin

Recipe very loosely based off of the recipe found at No Recipes


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