Chicken Coq Au Vin - Instant Pot
Coq au vin made famous by the French is a dish of chicken braised with wine, bacon, mushrooms, and garlic, and optionally other seasonings. Usually cooked in a casserole pot for several hours. Historically it was often made with rooster, which was old and tough and this was a way to make the chicken tender and infused with flavor.
However, in a pressure cooker, we can get all the flavor in a fraction of the time.
What is Chicken Coq Au Vin?
Coq au vin is a very old recipe. According to legend, it comes to us from ancient Gaul and is associated with Julius Caesar. The cooks of this time were instructed to find new recipes in order to please the emperor. An inventive cook had the idea of mixing wine with the preparation of the dish. And the rest is history as they say and coq au vin is now defined as a French braised chicken cooked in wine. It has been so successful that each region in France has adopted a variant.
See our healthy chicken stew recipe.
Key Spices for Chicken Coq Au Vin
Each region of France will often use its own style of wine. However, my advice is to use the best wine you can as it will pay off in the flavor and taste of the final dish
Fresh Thyme and Bay Leaf
If you have fresh herbs or are making this as a special dish - my advice is to use the fresh ones from your garden or go to the effort of buying some from your local supermarket. Powdered versions are ok - but fresh is best if you can.
Bacon is another key ingredient, and cooking it so it releases its flavor is key. If you can purchase Lardons or Speck this will give you a deeper taste. However streaky bacon is just fine as long as you cook it well to render the fat and bring out the taste.
Marinate the Chicken
Place the chicken in a container or bowl and add the garlic, diced beetroot, and wine and cover with plastic film.
Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours and overnight is best if you can.
After we have completed the marinate - we are going to take out the chicken to brown it- but keep the marinade as we will later add it to the instant pot when we pressure cook.
How to Prepare the Chicken
Lightly flour the chicken in preparation for browning it up. The flour helps sear and seal the chicken to keep in the flavor. Later it also helps with the thickening of the gravy or sauce.
You will see the chicken is now browned off - and the red color is from the wine and the beetroot in the marinade.
Set the chicken aside and continue to the next step in the recipe.
Chicken Coq Au Vin - Instant Pot
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 Medium Onions
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery sticks
- 1/2 Garlic bulb - slice in half through the cloves
- 3 Bay leafs
- 5 Thyme sprigs - or 1tsp of dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 Small beetroot diced
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 Streaky bacon pieces
- 4 to 6 Chicken thighs - skin on
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 cups of Chicken Stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley 1 teaspoon if using dried parsley
- 10 Baby onions or shallots
- 10 Button mushrooms
- 1/4 Cup cream
- Place the chicken in a container or bowl and add the garlic and wine and cover with plastic film. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours and overnight is best if you can. After we have completed the marinate - we are going to take out the chicken to brown it- but keep the marinade as we will later add it to the instant pot when we pressure cook.
- Next, remove the chicken and let it drain.
- Select sauté on the one-pot (push the sauté button to get the hot setting which is has the “More” showing. Wait until the display switches from On to HOT and add the diced bacon to the pressure cooker pot. Brown the bacon until crisp, stirring frequently. Now remove and set aside the bacon to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Now add the baby onions and cook till they start to go brown. Then remove them as set aside on a plate.
- Now put in the mushrooms and again cook till they start browning. Take them out as set them aside also.
- Now sauté the sliced onions first, then add in the garlic for about 1-2 minutes and again remove from the pot. (Turn off the Pot)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and lightly coat with the flour. The flour will also help thicken up the sauce later. Now again select sauté MORE and put the chicken into the instant pot - brown on both sides in the bacon fat. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan and leaving the Instant Pot on.
- Add the wine quickly to deglaze the pot (stir with a wooden spoon to remove any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom) and let it reduce by about 30% to concentrate the flavor.
- Stir in the chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, celery, mushrooms, and carrots.
- Add back the chicken to the pot, along with any juices that have collected on the platter.
- Select 15 minutes on High Pressure and let it naturally release the pressure for about 10 minutes.
- Now remove the chicken from the pressure cooker pot to a serving plate.
- Combine the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup water, whisking until there are no lumps.
- Turn on the pressure cooker to sauté again with the liquid from the pressure cooking still in the pot. Add cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot stirring constantly - make sure it boils while stirring constantly.
- Next add back the bacon, mushrooms, and baby onions stirring again gently to mix them in and warm them at the same time.
- Taste the sauce to check it is seasoned ok - and if necessary add tiny amounts of salt or pepper to get the taste to your liking.
- After sauce thickens you can pour it over the chicken and your choice of side dish. We love placing the chicken on top of mashed potato and then gently pouring the thickened sauce over the plate. Garnish with some Italian parsley if you have it.
How To Make Authentic French Coq Au Vin
Here are our top tips to make your coq au vin really authentic.
Firstly, uncork the red wine and pour it over the bird, allowing it to take a soak in an overnight bath while in the fridge. This will infuse the meat with a subtle but depth of flavor plus you will get a lovely maroon hue on the marinated chicken
Drain the wine off the chicken then pat it dry with a paper towel or similar - and then cut and sear the bird.
Keep the wine to use during cooking.
Another easy trick? Sauté the pearl onions in the rendered bacon drippings before adding them to the coq au vin stew.
The same goes for the mushrooms.
And a final tip - do not serve the stew straight away; rather, let it cool and then refrigerate overnight. Then skim off any fat from the surface and heat it gently. Trust me you will taste a big big difference.
I am sure Julia Childs would be happy with the above!
You can also use a dutch oven for a great result.
What wine is best for Coq Au Vin
Any authentic red burgundy is great - like a good Pino Noir
Do you leave skin on chicken for coq au vin
Yes you leave the skin on - position it on the top so it crisps a little as you braise it.
Does the alcohol cook out of Coq Au Vin
Yes the alcohol will cook out - leaving an intense gravy when mixed with al the other ingredients
Can you Freeze cooked Coq Au Vin
Yes - this dish freezes well for up to 3 months - let it thaw out in the fridge for 24 hours and then only heat it up very gently - not straight away on high heat.
How do you Thicken Coq Au Vin
Use 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp butter to begin and whisk it in little by like - until the gravy is the right texture - remember to let it cook for at least two minutes to cook out the flour.