The Washington Post

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine)

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine) 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Instant Pot Jan 22, 2018

This dish is typically served with pearl onions or sauteed mushrooms, but its sauce is so luxe that it goes great with mashed or roasted potatoes, polenta or simply fresh bread, too.

You're doing a quick flame of alcohol in both traditional and Instant Pot methods, and should be appropriately careful (follow the directions closely and carefully).

To make this in an Instant Pot, see the VARIATION, below.

You’ll need a heavy, 10-inch Dutch oven.

To read the accompanying story, see: Instant Pot vs. Dutch oven: Which makes better food?.

Make Ahead: The chicken tastes even better after a day's refrigeration.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • One 3- to 4-ounce chunk of lean bacon, rind discarded
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted or unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds white- and dark-meat chicken parts (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 3 cups young, full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône or Chianti
  • 1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock or broth, brown stock or beef bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Sprigs of fresh parsley, for garnish


Cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long). Cook for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pot, over medium-low heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for about 3 minutes, until very lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate.

Dry the chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Place the pieces in the pot; brown them in the hot bacon fat, turning them over, as needed. Season the chicken lightly with the salt and pepper. Return the bacon to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over once.

Uncover, and pour in the cognac. Carefully ignite the liquor with a lighted match or torch. Shake the pot back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.

Pour the wine into the pot. Add just enough of the stock or broth or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, cover and cook slowly for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Transfer the chicken pieces to a platter.

Cook the liquid in the pot for a minute or two, skimming off any fat. Increase the heat to high and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, as needed. Remove from the heat, and discard the bay leaf.

Blend the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour in a bowl to create a smooth paste (called a beurre manie). Whisk the paste into the hot liquid. Once the liquid bubbles at the edges, cook, stirring, for a few minutes, to form a sauce that's thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Arrange the chicken in a casserole dish and baste it with the sauce. Garnish with sprigs of parsley.

If the dish is not to be served right away, pour a layer of broth on the surface or dot the surface with small pieces of butter. Shortly before serving, heat over medium heat so the liquid in the pot bubbles at the edges while you baste the chicken with its sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is hot through.

VARIATION: To make this Coq au Vin in an Instant Pot, start the bacon as directed above (by boiling the lardons in water). Then cook those bacon pieces in butter, uncovered, with the SAUTE button on medium. Add the chicken pieces in batches -- don't crowd them -- with the SAUTE button on high. Turn off the machine before you light the Cognac in the Instant Pot. Keep the lid off and transfer the metal base to the kitchen sink or other safe space away from plastic or meltable materials. To finish the chicken, follow the directions above, but cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, releasing the pressure manually. Transfer the chicken pieces to a platter. Set the SAUTE button to medium and cook the sauce in pot (as directed above).

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from the 50th anniversary edition of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011).

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga and Alex Van Buren.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (9)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 580

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 35g 54%

Saturated Fat: 13g 65%

Cholesterol: 140mg 47%

Sodium: 430mg 18%

Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 30g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle