French Coq au Vin in Instant Pot: With and without Wine (Recipe)

The classic French chicken stew made simple. Coq au vin is the perfect dinner recipe to make in the Instant pot, quickly and easily. With tips on how to serve coq au vin, drink accompaniments, and much more.
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This Recipe includes

Main ingredients:

chicken Chicken
bacon Bacon lardons
mushrooms Mushrooms
carrot Carrot
celery Celery
onion Chopped onions
Potatoes (Optional) Potatoes
spinach (Optional) Spinach

Spices, herbs and flavoring ingredients:

parsley Parsley leaves
thyme Thyme
bay leaves Bay leaf
garlic powder Garlic
salt and pepper Salt and pepper

Accents for the sauce:

chicken stock Chicken stock
butter Butter
flour Flour
red wine (Optional) Dry Red wine *
cognac (Optional) Cognac *

* To cook without alcohol:

vinegar Apple cider vinegar
juice Abricot, peach or pear juice
tomato sauce Tomato sauce or paste

Why we love it

Legend has it that the Coq au Vin dates back to the time when Julius Caesar and the Romans had invaded France. An old rooster that is slow-cooked in a chicken stew with wine sauce to tenderize it and bring out the flavors.

But this time around, this age-old French chicken stew meets the 21st century Instant Pot. Most people don’t have the time (or the forethought) to start cooking the night before. If you do, Respect!

In any case, this is one French meat dish that has stood the test of time to become popular around the world.

Shortcuts to the traditional recipe

In France, the traditional way a typical Coq au Vin is cooked is by marinating red wine, chicken, onions, carrots, and celery the night before. Then the following day, slow cook on the stove for 2.5 hours. These days with the Instant Pot, I find that taking a few shortcuts from the classic French pantry doesn’t take away any of the flavors of the chicken stew.

Frozen Veggies: For instance, for the vegetables in the recipe below, I’ve counted the time it takes to chop all the vegetables and add them in. But we do get chopped frozen vegetables, even in France, and there’s a reason they are so popular. Just toss them in and you’re good to go.

Frozen Chicken: You could also use frozen chicken, if you really are in a rush. But keep in mind that the skin will probably not taste as good and fall off. I’ve sacrificed the skin and cooked it several times with the chicken still frozen, and the dish still tastes fantastic.

If you do decide to leave the chicken frozen, you don’t need to add any additional time. The Instant Pot will take longer to heat up, so just leave the cooking time the same.

Lardons: Also, one thing to note is that the French recipe usually calls for lardons, which are small matchstick-size pieces of bacon. These don’t need to be sautéed (if you are using frozen chicken). But if you don’t have lardons and are using regular bacon, you should sauté those as per the recipe below.

Spices: There are a lot of spices on the list, but in essence this is a French bouquet garni. You don’t need to have every single one, a French bouquet garni involves mixing and matching what you have.

☞ READ MORE: Classic French Recipes remade in the Instant Pot

Coq au vin before cooking
Coq au vin in the Instant Pot before cooking

Cooking without alcohol

I should point out that Coq au Vin translates literally to Chicken in Wine. Nevertheless, if you have small children, you may have doubts about a recipe that includes 1/3 cup of wine and 1/4 cup of cognac. If you cook it without the wine, it will still be a delicious chicken stew.

I’ve scoured French blogs and recipe websites to find alternatives and test them. The best combination that I’ve found is to replace the alcohol with:

  • Abricot, peach or pear juice instead of Cognac.
  • Chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar instead of the wine.

It is very similar to the Boeuf Bourguignon, which is a slow-cooked stew with beef instead of chicken and also uses red wine.

But keep in mind that the general consensus is that because the cooking time is over 45 minutes at high pressure even in the Instant Pot, the alcohol has cooked off. You can also try a chicken pot-au-feu which adds more vegetables, but no alcohol.

What sides to serve with Coq au Vin?

There are many different sides that you can serve with a Coq au Vin, but my favorite is long-grain brown rice. It is drier and less sweet than some other accompanying dishes, and so I find it goes really well.

The traditional French accompaniment is mashed potatoes, however, or tagliatelle pasta. And there are many other possibilities as well such as white rice, polenta, or even bulgur.


What drinks to serve with it?

In France, a meal like Coq au vin will only be served with wine. For a traditional dinner, French etiquette dictates that there are no apéritifs, cocktails, sodas or any of the like. Those are reserved for the apéro hour (happy hour).

So all this to say, a wine goes best with Coq au vin. But you have to be careful what type of wine you pick to not clash with the wine that you have already added into the Coq au vin. To keep the flavors consistent, pick a dry red wine from the same region as the wine you have added into the recipe.

A dry Côtes du Rhone, or a light Bourgogne or Alsacian should generally marry quite well. You can read more about French wines here.


How to store it?

Coq au vin is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day. You can easily put aside portions in the fridge or freezer.

Let it cool, and then place in an airtight glass container.


Similar Chicken recipes

coq au vin on a plate

Coq au Vin Recipe for Instant Pot

Nassie Angadi
A traditional French Coq au Vin for modern times.
4.61 from 33 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main dishes
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 1813 kcal


  • 3 pounds of chicken (approx. 8 pieces of thigh and leg
  • 1 cup of lardons (6 strips of bacon sliced into small pieces
  • 1 cup of sliced white or oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 an onion chopped up
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 chopped celery stick
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/3 bottle of full-bodied red wine eg. Cabernet, Merlot or Malbec
  • 1 garlic clove chopped up
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of cognac or brandy
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the chicken thighs, bacon, and butter in the Instant pot and sauté for about 8 minutes.
  • Add the cognac over the chicken and bacon and let it sauté for another couple of minutes
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (except the flour), and set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
  • Mix in the flour with a tablespoon of water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the Instant Pot.
  • Press the Sauté button again for 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken.
  • Let the Coq au Vin rest for 10 minutes on the Keep Warm function.
  • Taste to add salt and pepper if necessary.


  1. For a lighter flavor, use a dry white wine like a Pinot Gris, instead of the red.
  2. The alcohol usually cooks off by the time it is served, but if you don't want to use wine and cognac, replace it with:
  • Abricot, peach or pear juice instead of Cognac.
  • Chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar instead of the wine.


    Serving: 1gCalories: 1813kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 178gFat: 110gSaturated Fat: 35gPolyunsaturated Fat: 74gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 975mgSodium: 1450mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
    Keyword Chicken stew, Coq au vin, Instant pot
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    If you enjoyed that, check out our other French recipes in Instant Pot that are classic and easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt!

    This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Elizabeth Boyette

      Hi there from Charleston, SC! Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for a quiet New Year’s Eve in and it was fantastic. I expected it to be good but it exceeded my expectations! As good as any Coq au Vin I’ve had at French restaurants. I received an instant pot for Christmas and this is the 2nd recipe I’ve made! Thank you for the fantastic recipe, we will be making it again for sure.

      1. Nassie

        That’s fabulous, thank you for sharing! Happy new year to you and your loved ones (with many more coq au vins in the new year!) 😉

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