Chicken Legs Coq au Vin


Coq au vin is typically made with a cut-up chicken; this version uses only drumsticks, so the meat cooks uniformly in the rich red wine sauce. Slideshow:  More French Main Courses 

Chicken Legs Coq au Vin
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 8 chicken drumsticks (2 pounds)

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped (optional)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (3 ounces)

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup brandy

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 bottle dry red wine

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 thyme sprigs, plus chopped thyme for garnish


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust all over with 2 tablespoons of the flour. In a large cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Add the bacon to the casserole and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brandy and cook until reduced by half, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour until incorporated. Add the wine, stock and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning the chicken occasionally, until very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  3. Simmer the sauce until thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and discard the thyme sprigs. Return the chicken to the sauce and heat through. Garnish with chopped thyme and serve.

Make Ahead

The coq au vin can be refrigerated for 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

This Burgundian dish is sublime with red Burgundy.

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