Chicken in Red Wine With Mushrooms

Based on a classic coq au vin these chicken legs are marinaded and then slowly cooked in red wine with mushrooms and bacon.

Portrait image of chicken in a red wine sauce with mushrooms and bacon served on mashed potato

Coq Au Vin In All But Name.

It does seem incredibly fashionable to scoff at the superior standing of French food in culinary circles.

However, when simple rustic peasant dishes like this, Daube of Beef or Beef Bourguignon have lasted the course of time you can see where it comes from.

This recipe really does lean incredibly heavily on the French classic Coq au Vin.

It features the same idea behind marinading the meat, the same slow simmer and even a splash of cognac!

The bacon and mushrooms are even front and centre.

This recipe is however scaled down to feed just two people using chicken legs broken down into thighs and drumsticks.

Portrait close up image chicken in a red wine sauce with mushrooms and bacon served on mashed potato

Ingredient Guide.

My usual and preferred method is a reduction, that is simply adding heat and boiling off liquid.

As far as I am concerned this dish is much better made with the legs rather than the breast of the chicken.

I like to separate the legs into thighs and drumsticks and remove the knuckle from the drummer.

This is for presentation reasons only, so if you just want to chuck in the legs feel free.

If you want to learn how to separate the legs you can pick it up in the video below. The preparation of the legs starts at 25 seconds.

The red wine for this recipe wants to be something big and bold.

A Burgundy would be superb, if pricey, so go for something like a pinot noir or merlot.

You should also ensure that your stock is not too salty as we are going to reduce the sauce at the end.

The other ingredients are all pretty obvious for even the most novice of cooks.

Portrait image of chicken thigh and drumstick in a red wine sauce with mushrooms and bacon served on mashed potato on a white plate

Serving Suggestions.

This is pure comfort food and when I think of comfort food the first thing that springs to mind is mash.

Specifically mashed potato!

However, there are other sides that would work just as well.

I have served this with celeriac mash and even polenta.

If I am looking to lighten it up I make my polenta without cheese and use stock instead of water.

It also works well with roasted carrots, boiled potatoes or even some frozen veg from the freezer!

Chicken Legs in Red Wine Sauce Recipe

Chicken Legs in Red Wine Sauce Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marinade Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes

It's hard to look beyond classic recipes when you want a bit of comfort food and these chicken legs braised in red wine are heavily influenced by the French Bistro classic, coq au vin.


  • 2 Chicken Legs
  • 375 ml Red wine
  • 50 ml Brandy
  • 200 g Onion
  • 12 Cloves Garlic
  • 100 g Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 100 ml Chicken Stock
  • 25 g Butter
  • 125 g Button Mushrooms
  • 25 g Softened Butter
  • 25 g Plain Flour
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste


  1. Roughly chop half of the onion and bruise half of the garlic clove, add to a bowl and pour over the wine.
  2. Separate the chicken legs into thighs and drumsticks and add the chicken to this mix.
  3. Marinade for at least 4 hours.
  4. Cut the bacon into large strips around 5mm in profile and 15mm long.
  5. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add in the bacon and cook until golden, this should take about 8-10 minutes.
  6. When it is golden brown remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  7. Peel and slice the remaining onion into wedges.
  8. Peel the remaining garlic.
  9. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry.
  10. Discard the garlic and onion and reserve the wine for the sauce.
  11. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown over a medium heat in the residual fat.
  12. When your chicken is browned set aside.
  13. Add the onion wedges and garlic cloves to the pan and allow to brown for 5-6 minutes.
  14. Pour in the brandy to the pan scraping the bottom to ensure you get all of the beat residues off the base.
  15. Strain the wine we marinaded the chicken into the pan and bring to a simmer.
  16. Add in the bay leaves, thyme and then pack in the chicken drumsticks, thighs and sprinkle over the bacon.
  17. Pour over the chicken stock and allow to simmer over a very low heat with the lid on for 60 minutes.
  18. When cooked remove the chicken with a slotted spoon whilst we finish the sauce and fry the mushrooms.
  19. Add the 25g of butter to a frying pan and when foaming add in the button mushrooms.
  20. Season them with salt and pepper and fry until golden.
  21. Heat a large flat frying pan over a fierce heat and strain the sauce into the frying pan boiling rapidly to reduce by two thirds.
  22. Finally, make a Beurre manié by mixing together 25g of softened butter and 25g of plain flour to form a 'dough'.
  23. Whisk the flour into the sauce to thicken.
  24. Return the chicken and add the mushrooms to the sauce, stir to coat and then serve.


Make sure your bacon is good and fatty as this provides the cooking oil for the dish. You can use a splash of olive oil if you feel you need more.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1246 Total Fat: 62g Saturated Fat: 25g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 32g Cholesterol: 432mg Sodium: 1635mg Carbohydrates: 38g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 8g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 86g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

24 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. I love how rich this sauce sounds! I also agree that bacon does make everything better!! I would love to try this soon! Yummmyyyy!

  2. I’m not quite sure how I’ve come to spend so many years in the kitchen without once making this. I mean really, it’s clearly something one should do because this looks absolutely incredible! I was never much of a meat fan until I learned to cook a really slow cooked meat dish and that was it for me. They’re my faves now. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Certainly in the UK it became sullied by nasty packet sauces in the late 70’s and 80’s… Back in the day where everyone decided cooking was not important and neither was flaovur 😉 For some at least the tide is turning and classics like these are making a comeback.

  3. WOW! This looks OUTRAGEOUS! Butter… wine… bacon…chicken… yes please. Talk about a delicious flavor combination. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • Lol, I reckon the name should be changed to Butter… wine… bacon… chicken… it would sell out on every menu every day 😀

  4. I have to agree with you Brian, I often prefer the humble peasant dishes over the fancy ones too. They are usually so much more comforting and satisfying ? This looks fab!

  5. I’ve had this on my mind with Bastille day coming up, and yours looks wonderful. I agree I sometimes feel French food gets too much hype, but then there are the more rustic dishes like these that are so delicious.

  6. My family loves chicken but I feel like I keep making the same recipes. I’m looking forward to trying this one, looks delicious.

  7. One day… one day I will be brave enough to try making this. I know you say it’s a straightforward dish, but being one of “the classics”, I’m a bit intimidated to try! I’m also not one to cook meat 95% of the time in my home, so there’s that too…

    • You really should give it a go, there are no complicated cooking techniques involved at all and the only reason you need to watch it is because modern chickens can over cook very easily… I have seen your website and if you can manage the cakes you cook then you can do this with your eyes closed and a glass of wine in one hand 😉

  8. My word Brian, this looks (and sounds) amazing. I’ve always wanted to try making this – it just looks so savory 🙂 And I’m with you on the mashed potatoes and bacon — heavenly!

  9. This looks absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had this in restaurant or otherwise but this looks so amazing I’m going to have to spend a Saturday on it for sure.

    • You are definitely in for a treat a really wonderfully hearty dish that you can’t really go wrong with so long as you don’t over cook the chuck 🙂

  10. I must say, this looks a thousand times better that the one I was served at a friend’s house in France.
    I was served a drumstick that was so rubbery you could bounce it off the walls. With the best will in the world, I could not get one smidgin of meat off that drumstick. The sauce looked and tasted like wine heated up with a bay leaf. No thickening was used either.
    The best bit was that the sister of said friend was a vegetarian and was offered the ‘sauce’ from the coq with mashed potatoes.

    • Booo not so good, it is not a dish to set aside and leave for a whole day it requires a little bit of TLC, not a lot but definitely a dish made better for it… The sauce needs a heavy reduction whilst the bird is resting and I love the ‘beurre manie’ methid of thickening, it uses butter and I love butter 😉

      I see the sauce thing all the time which is a crying shame 🙁


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