Red Wine-Braised Chicken

Southern Kitchen
Coq Au Vin

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes


4 strips applewood-smoked bacon, diced

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stem and chopped

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, scrubbed and quartered

8 ounces pearl onions, blanched and peeled (see note)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup brandy

2 cups red wine, such as pinot noir

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Buttered egg noodles, for serving

Chopped Italian parsley, for serving


Heat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot, skin side-down, and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened and the onion is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste has turned to a rusty color, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the brandy and cook for 30 seconds.

Return the chicken and bacon to the pot and add the wine. Bring to a simmer and allow wine to reduce by about one quarter, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the broth, cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Roast until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and place on a burner over medium heat.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together the butter and flour to form a paste. Once the braising liquid comes to a simmer, stir in the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Continue to simmer until lightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve over buttered egg noodles, garnished with parsley.

About the recipe

Based on a traditional French country dish called coq au vin, this recipe gently cooks chicken in red wine with bacon and aromatic vegetables, then serves it over buttered pasta. The layering of flavors comes through in the finished sauce, which holds smoky notes from the bacon, earthiness from the mushrooms and headiness from the red wine. If you don’t want to spend time peeling and blanching fresh pearl onions, it’s totally fine to substitute frozen pearl onions instead.