Classic Coq au Vin

If you will be joining us Nov. 3-4 at the La Crema Winery for this weekend’s “A Wine & Food Affair” event, this is a sneak peek of what you will be enjoying. If you can’t make it up to Sonoma County, try this iconic rustic French braise of chicken and wine at home.

Coq au Vin is a classic French peasant dish traditionally prepared with rooster.  In this version, we use chicken legs which are not only easier to find but also require a fraction of the cooking time.  The earthiness of the stew pairs perfectly with the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.  This is a great dish for a cold winter’s night and while the preparation might seem a little daunting at first, the end result is well worth the effort! When serving, you can either remove the chicken from the bone (as pictured) or serve the entire leg.

Coq au Vin

Serves: 8


  • 8 chicken legs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced large
  • 3 celery stalks, diced large
  • 2 carrots, diced large
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bottle La Crema Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
  • 1 bunch thyme, plus a few sprigs picked, chopped and reserved for garnish
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • ½ bunch parsley, leaves chopped fine and stems reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 6-inch square cheesecloth
  • 4 cups white chicken stock
  • 6 oz. slab bacon, diced medium
  • 8 oz. small button mushrooms (We like to use Gourmet Mushroom’s Chef’s Blend)
  • 8 oz. pearl onions
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and sear until golden brown, but not cooked through.  Remove chicken and add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until they begin to caramelize.  Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup wine.
  2. Prepare sachet by wrapping thyme sprigs, peppercorns, parsley stems and bay leaves in cheesecloth.  Secure with twine.  In a plastic container, add the chicken, vegetables, sachet and remaining wine.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. The following day, preheat the oven to 300˚F.
  4. Strain the chicken and vegetables, reserving the wine.  Place wine in braising pan and reduce to 1 cup.  Add chicken stock, chicken, vegetables and sachet and bring to a light simmer.  Cover and place in oven for 1 hour or until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, in a 6-quart pot, cook bacon over medium heat.  Once the fat has rendered, add the mushrooms and pearl onions.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the flour and stir the roux until it begins to brown lightly.
  6. Remove braising pan from oven and place the chicken on a warm plate.  Strain the braising liquid through a sieve and discard the sachet and vegetables.  Pour the liquid into the pot with the roux and whisk rapidly.  Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer, skimming any solids that rise to the surface.  Season with salt, pepper and some of the remaining chopped herbs.  Place chicken over egg noodles or mashed potatoes with a heaping ladle of sauce.