Crockpot Coq Au Vin Recipe

Coq au vin is a dish from the classic French repertoire that was introduced to American cooks by Julia Child. Recipe developer Julianne De Witt notes that there are many versions of the dish, but this one she learned long ago in cooking school and adapted as a slow cooker recipe. While more traditional versions use a whole chicken cut into pieces, De Witt's recipe saves time by using bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks, which become perfectly tender in the crockpot.

For the wine in the sauce, De Witt recommends a French-style one such as Pinot Noir. "There's no need to splurge on an expensive bottle" for cooking purposes, she says, but since you won't be using the entire bottle, you'll probably want something you won't mind drinking the rest of. Plus, as De Witt points out, "the flavor will impact the dish," so a wine that's too sweet, too tannic, or otherwise unenjoyable might undermine your cooking efforts.

"I like to serve coq au vin with mashed potatoes, a crisp green salad, and some crusty bread for soaking up all the delicious sauce," De Witt shares. "This is comfort food at it's best — a hearty, flavorful dish perfect for the colder months."

Collect the ingredients for Crockpot coq au vin

While this slow cooker stew isn't all that difficult to make, it does require a fair number of ingredients. For starters, you'll need chicken. De Witt opts for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks. She notes that boneless chicken works if it's what you've got in the freezer, but "watch the cooking time, as boneless meat tends to fall apart if cooked too long."

You'll also going to need olive oil, salt, bacon, an onion, some carrots, and garlic, as well as tomato paste, brandy, chicken stock, red wine, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Heading into the home stretch, you'll finish things off with some cremini mushrooms, pearl onions, butter, and flour. If you want to fancy things up at the end, you can strew the dish with chopped parsley, but this garnish is optional.

Step 1: Warm up some oil ‌

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a saute pan and place over high heat.

Step 2: Season the chicken

Meanwhile, season chicken drumsticks and thighs with 1 teaspoon salt.

Step 3: Brown the chicken

Working in batches as needed, sear chicken pieces on both sides until browned, approximately 2 minutes per side.

Step 4: Put the chicken in the crockpot

Add browned chicken to slow cooker.

Step 5: Fry the bacon

Add bacon to the same pan and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute.

Step 6: Saute the vegetables

Add onions, carrots, and garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Step 7: Add tomato paste and brandy

Add tomato paste and brandy and cook for 1 minute more.

Step 8: Add the bacon mixture to the Crockpot

Add contents of saute pan to crockpot.

Step 9: Add the liquids

Add chicken stock and red wine to crockpot.

Step 10: Add seasonings, and cook

Add remaining salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves to crockpot, and stir. Slow cook on high for 2 hours.

Step 11: Make a beurre manié

Meanwhile, create a beurre manié by combining butter and flour in a bowl until a paste forms.

Step 12: Add the beurre manié to the Crockpot

After 2 hours, add beurre manié to crockpot and stir gently.

Step 13: Heat up the rest of the oil

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the saute pan over medium-high heat.

Step 14: Fry the mushrooms and onions

Saute pearl onions and mushrooms until lightly browned, approximately 1 minute.

Step 15: Transfer the mushrooms and onions to the slow cooker

Add onions and mushrooms to crockpot.

Step 16: Cook for another hour

Continue cooking for 1 more hour.

Step 17: Enjoy

Adjust seasonings, if desired, before serving.

How should I peel the pearl onions for Crockpot coq au vin?

While peeling a whole bunch of teeny tiny pearl onions might seem like a real pain in the derriere, De Witt has a tip that she says makes the ordeal much easier. Her tip starts out with cutting off the root ends of each onion. You'll then transfer the lot to a pot full of simmering water in order to blanch them. Once the onions are sufficiently blanched, after about about 2-3 minutes, you'll scoop them out of the hot water and place them into a bowl of cold water. Once the onions are cool enough to touch, take each one between your thumb and forefinger, give it a good squeeze, and "the onion will pop right out" of its skin, De Witt instructs. 

Don't want to do any of that? De Witt says frozen peeled pearl onions in place of fresh ones can be "a real time saver," especially since "you won't need to bother sauteing them before adding them to the crockpot."

Does Crockpot coq au vin make good leftovers?

Even though coq au vin's French moniker makes it sound like a fancy dish, it's actually peasant fare at heart. True to its humble roots, it's something you can easily cook up in a big batch and enjoy for days to come, since, as De Witt informs us, the leftovers "taste even better the day after it's made." Leftover coq au vin can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, but for longer storage, it can easily be frozen, as well.

The quickest way to heat up your leftover coq au vin will probably be the microwave, especially if you're heating it from frozen. If you have a little more time to spare, however, De Witt recommends letting the frozen dish thaw out in the refrigerator. Once it's no longer a chicken-sicle, you can plop it in a pan and simmer it over medium heat until it's warm enough to eat. Remember to stir the leftover coq au vin every once in a while, though, as it would be a shame to let it scorch before you can revisit such a tasty meal.

Crockpot Coq Au Vin Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
This crockpot coq au vin is just as comforting and deeply savory as the original, but it comes together in the slow cooker for hands-off simmering.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
3.33
hours
Servings
4
servings
coq au vin serving in bowl
Total time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, ends trimmed, quartered
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Optional Ingredients
  • Minced fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
Directions
  1. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a saute pan and place over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, season chicken drumsticks and thighs with 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Working in batches as needed, sear chicken pieces on both sides until browned, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  4. Add browned chicken to slow cooker.
  5. Add bacon to the same pan and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  6. Add onions, carrots, and garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add tomato paste and brandy and cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Add contents of saute pan to crockpot.
  9. Add chicken stock and red wine to crockpot.
  10. Add remaining salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves to crockpot, and stir.
  11. Slow cook on high for 2 hours.
  12. Meanwhile, create a beurre manié by combining butter and flour in a bowl until a paste forms.
  13. After 2 hours, add beurre manié to crockpot and stir gently.
  14. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the saute pan over medium-high heat.
  15. Saute pearl onions and mushrooms until lightly browned, approximately 1 minute.
  16. Add onions and mushrooms to crockpot.
  17. Continue cooking for 1 more hour.
  18. Adjust seasonings, if desired, before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,196
Total Fat 74.7 g
Saturated Fat 23.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 359.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Total Sugars 10.9 g
Sodium 1,982.5 mg
Protein 68.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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