Coq au Vin

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin

One of the most famous recipes in French cooking, I first learned how to make Coq Au Vin as an apprentice chef. It uses quite a lot of wine, and should be started the day before so you can leave it to marinate over night, but it tastes sublime!

Serves 4 – 6


To marinate:

  • 1.5 litres red wine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 chicken marylands (leg and thigh)

To prepare:

  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 40 g butter
  • 12 pearl onions
  • 200 g speck or bacon, cut into 1 cm lardons
  • 500 g button mushrooms
  • 100 ml brandy or cognac
  • 2 Tbsp (15 g) plain flour
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

To serve

  • mashed potato
  • fresh parsley, chopped


I prefer to remove the thigh bone from the chicken marylands before cooking as it makes them easier to eat!


  1. Roughly chop carrot, celery and onion, bruise garlic cloves. Place aromatics in a large bowl with the bay leaf, thyme and chicken marylands, and cover with the wine. Refrigerate 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to marinate.
  2. Drain the chicken, reserving wine, and discard vegetables. Pat chicken dry with paper towel.
  3. Add oil and butter to a large heavy-based pot over medium heat. Add onions and bacon and cook for a few minutes to caramelise. Add mushrooms and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes until mushrooms start to turn golden. Spoon onions, mushrooms and spec into a separate bowl, leaving the oil in the pot.
  4. Add marinated chicken to pan, skin-side down and leave for 3 – 4 minutes until it turns a dark golden colour. Return onions, mushrooms and spec to the pan with the chicken and add bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme. Sprinkle over flour and stir gently.
  5. Add cognac and light to flambe, then add in the reserved wine from the marinade and cover with a paper lid to keep chicken submerged. Bring to the boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 1½ – 2 hours, until sauce has thickened and chicken is falling off the bone.
  6. Serve chicken over mashed potato, with a generous ladle of onions, mushrooms, bacon and sauce. Top with parsley.


Recipe as seen in Manu’s French Bistro. Photo credit Jennifer Jenner


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