Instant Pot Coq au Vin – Easy Weeknight Recipes
Instant Pot Coq au Vin means that the French classic has never been easier, or faster! Frugal chicken legs stewed in red wine become an inexhaustible source of flavors, rich and delicious, in a thick homemade sauce dotted with mushrooms, onions and carrots.
An easy French chicken dish to make at home
Well, I can hear some of the skepticism out there. “Coq au Vin? Isn’t that one of those madly detailed cordon recipes that take forever to make?” Well, it can be sometimes, there are definitely versions with many complicated steps and instructions.
But originally, coq au vin was a simple, rustic way to cook chicken with wine.
This version takes advantage of that simple, rustic approach, with a super easy cooking method (hint: just skip everything) all in the instant pot (for a quick cooking time!). And, when you taste the finished dish, you’ll rave about the crumbling tender chicken in a rich dark sauce flavored with bacon, mushrooms, and carrots. In fact, this easy recipe is one that the whole family will love, even their picky eaters! I hope 🤞
why is Coq au Vin special?
If I had to sum it up, I would say: Julia Child. As with bourguignon beef, Julia Child helped those of us in America understand the legendary status of coq au vin in France, and the dish is now famous here too! But, it’s not just the beloved TV chef who made us fall in love with this dish.
It’s a really delicious meal, made with dark meat chicken, bacon, mushrooms and lots of red wine. The chicken is supposed to stew in the wine until it is good and tender, and its juices (along with all the sautéed vegetables) are mixed with the wine to make a tasty sauce with layers of complex flavor.
What’s in Instant Pot Coq au Vin?
Granted, traditionally, coq au vin is literally made from a rooster. Roosters are hard and need a slow cooking process to become tender. Regular chicken cooks much faster.
So what do we do? First, cut much of the cooking time. Secondly, use dark meat chicken for the most tender and moist results. If you must use chicken breast, you can, but it is more likely to dry out.
- Chicken: Thighs, drumsticks or quarters are great here
- Wine: Burgundy is basically the standard for coq au vin, but any red wine will do. Be sure to use regular wine, not “cooking wine” treated with salt and preservatives.
- Onions: Cut several small onions into quarters or use a cup of peeled pearl onions.
- Broth: Homemade chicken broth is great, or you can use store-bought chicken broth. You can even use water, because chicken on the bone helps make its own broth.
- Bacon: A piece of bacon cut into small rectangles (lardons) is the classic style, but you can also use regular bacon or thick-cut bacon, diced or cut into small strips.
- Oil: Sunflower oil, or any other high-temperature oil, for frying chicken pieces.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Mushrooms: I like to use baby bella mushrooms (crimini). Mushrooms also work well. For larger mushrooms, cut them in half or even into quarters.
- Carrots: Cut several carrots into large pieces.
- Starch and water: To make a suspension to thicken the sauce.
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How to make Coq Au Vin
Like the traditional coq au vin, we will be browning and cooking each ingredient one by one, to increase the flavors of the dish. From there, we will cook the chicken under pressure so that it is pleasant and tender.
- Marinate the chicken. Before you can start cooking, you need to marinate the chicken in wine for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. Dry the chicken with paper towels, season each piece with salt and pepper, and then put it in a deep baking dish. Add the onions and fresh thyme, and pour in the wine. Marinate in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Cook the bacon. Put the Instant Pot to sauté over medium heat. Add some oil, along with the pieces of bacon, and cook the bacon until crispy. You may need to reset the timer if it runs out. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate.
- Cook the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and butter to the instant pot, and cook until the mushrooms leave their liquid and begin to brown. This can take between 5 and 10 minutes, so be patient! Liquid mushrooms will not add flavor to the dish.
- Cook the carrots. Add the carrots to the golden mushrooms and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to get some color in them. Transfer carrots and mushrooms to a plate.
- Brown the chicken. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dry each piece with paper towels. Add the remaining oil to the instant pot and fry the chicken in 2 batches until each piece is golden and crispy. Chicken doesn’t need to be cooked, it just needs to be browned on the outside. Remove the chicken from the instant pot and set aside on a plate.
- Make the stew liquid. Add the wine marinade and chicken broth to the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off all the golden pieces on the bottom and sides of the instant pot, and stir them in the braised liquid. Let the mixture boil and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce it by half.
- Pressure cook. Once the liquid has been reduced, add the chicken, onions, thyme, mushrooms, carrots and pieces of bacon to the pot. Close the lid in place and set it to Pressure cooking at medium high temperature for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then move the sealing valve to “ventilate” for a quick release of the remaining pressure.
- Thicken the sauce. While the chicken is cooking, mix the cornstarch and water along with a fork in a small bowl to make a suspension. When the chicken is finished and the pressure is completely released, use a large slotted spoon to remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot, and pour the suspension into the stew liquid. Put the Instant Pot to sauté again and cook until the sauce thickens. Try the sauce and add salt if necessary.
- enjoy! Serve the chicken and vegetables in the sauce.
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Tips and tricks
When it comes to making coq au vin in your Instant Pot, there are some useful tips you should know! Read on for my best helpful tips. This deeply tasty and nutritious recipe is going to shake up your world!
- Temperature Check: The stir-fry on the Instant Pot usually has a low, medium and high setting, and runs with a timer. So when you start sautéing vegetables, bacon, etc., be sure to choose medium or low to avoid burning your food, and set the timer for quite a long time so that it doesn’t stop cooking before you’re done. If you find that the temperature is too high or the timer runs out, press “cancel” and then select “skip” again, resetting the temperature and timer.
- If you want to make a whole chicken instead of chicken feet, you can cut a whole chicken into thighs, thighs, and breasts (don’t cook the wings in this recipe; they’re too small). Follow the recipe as written, but pressure cook the breasts after cooking the thighs and vegetables. Breasts only need to be cooked for 8 to 10 minutes. Once all the chicken is cooked, thicken the sauce and serve.
- : You can also do this in a slow cooker by browning the ingredients in the instant cooker or on the stove, and then transferring the golden ingredients to the slow cooker. Add the wine marinade and chicken broth, and simmer for 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
- : If you can, do this a day in advance and let it cool overnight. Reheat the next day to get an even tastier dish.
- Use White Wine: You can also make a delicious coq au vin with white wine like Riesling, if you prefer.
Use a whole chicken:
Do it in the slow cooker
Leave it overnight
What should I serve with Coq au Vin?
Because this is such a spicy dish, it is usually served with something starchy to clean up the entire sauce. Mashed potatoes are a favorite, as is crusty bread. Here are some of my favorite options!
- Mashed potatoes: These classic creamy mashed potatoes are loaded with sour cream and butter, and gently seasoned with garlic powder, for a tasty puree that can’t be beat.
- Unkneaded bread: A crispy slice of unkneaded Dutch baked bread is the perfect texture contrast to tender chicken and vegetables, Not to mention the red wine sauce! Plus, it’s super easy to do.
- Vegetable Gratin: Classic zucchini tomato gratin offers a side dish full of vegetables, complete with zucchini, potatoes, seasonings and tomato sauce.
How to store and reheat leftovers
- You can refrigerate leftover coq au vin in airtight containers for up to 3 days.
- To freeze , cool the Coq au Vin completely. Then, remove the chicken from the bones and pack the meat, along with any sauces, in freezer bags. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in a covered pan or saucepan, and simmer until the chicken is very hot. Remove immediately from heat, to prevent the chicken from drying out, and serve.
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