Get ready for this slow cooker coq au vin to surpass any and all expectations in terms of its depth of flavor. Named for its velvety red wine sauce, Julia Child’s coq au vin made the classic French dish popular and accessible in North America.

Like the classic, this slow cooker version pairs smoky bacon, earthy mushrooms, and richly browned vegetables with inexpensive, easy-to-find, no-hassle chicken thighs. What emerges after a long, slow, hands-off simmer will make your home smell divine and your guests swoon.–Jenny Howard

A white oval serving plate filled with slow cooker coq au vin and a gold fork resting on the side of the plate.

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

4.63 / 8 votes
This slow cooker coq au vin makes the French classic of chicken thighs, bacon, mushrooms, onions, and carrots slowly simmered in a red wine sauce seem completely effortless.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories954 kcal
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours 45 minutes


For the slow cooker coq au vin

  • 12 (about 5 lbs) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 16 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small onions, peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 9 small carrots, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 sprigs thyme

For serving

  • Cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes (optional)


Make the slow cooker coq au vin

  • Preheat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place it in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, add the flour, and toss to coat. Shake off any excess flour and place the chicken on a large plate or rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a 10- to 12-inch (25- to 30-cm) skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until the edges are crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the fat in the skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and cook, still over medium heat, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high. Stir in the onions and carrots and cook until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Working in 2 batches, add the chicken thighs and cook over medium-high, turning once, until browned all over, about 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Pour off any excess fat from the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and carefully pour in the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Bring the wine to a boil and then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the wine and boiling water over the chicken in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon and thyme. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 5 to 6 hours on low or 2 1/2 hours on high.

To serve

  • Remove the chicken and vegetables from the slow cooker and arrange over the noodles or mashed potatoes, if using, on individual plates or on a large platter.
  • Skim any fat from the sauce in the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and serve.
Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker Cookbook

Adapted From

Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 954 kcalCarbohydrates: 20 gProtein: 59 gFat: 66 gSaturated Fat: 17 gMonounsaturated Fat: 30 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 323 mgSodium: 441 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 7 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Martha Stewart Living. Photo © 2017 Stephen Kent Johnson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This FABULOUS slow cooker coq au vin takes just about 6 hours. Considering this is a slow cooker meal, there is a bit of prep but, trust me, you’ll find that your time has been well spent. I halved the recipe as there are but 2 of us. Looking back, this was SO good I wish I had prepared the entire amount!

I used the timings given in the recipe and was quite satisfied with the result. I made the dish with a grocery store Pinot Noir and came away thinking it will be the best 4 bucks I spend all month!

We found that the depth of flavor in this coq au vin can easily rival many competitors which are far more labor intensive. An hours work, an afternoon of wonderful aromas wafting about the cottage, and the respect and adulation of friends and family. After all, what else is there?

There is nothing like coming home to a wonderfully rich aroma and knowing that dinner is already to eat. It’s even better when that aroma is wine! The end results are delicious with tender and tasty chicken and rich vegetables and a lovely wine sauce.

The directions are simple and layer out in easy steps so you can prepare for the next step while you are crisp your bacon and brown the vegetables. I was able to have everything prepped and then cleaned up by the time I placed the last piece of chicken in the crockpot.

This is great especially if you need get out the door and onto the days many other tasks. I would add a step and make a roux before adding the wine to the pan. Making a richer and thicker sauce would take this recipe from being really good to amazing.

This dish was incredible! My kids rate the dishes that I make from 1 to 10 and my 8-year-old said: “Mom this is better than a 10, this is up in the millions. This is 1 in a million” It’s that delicious. I was intimidated by all of the steps, however, it’s well worth it. It’s definitely a dish that should be made on the weekend or when you have more time on your hands.

I served the dish on top of medium egg noodles. We had leftovers over mashed potatoes and I plan to repurpose the rest of the chicken and noodles into a baked cheesy marinara noodle dish. I like that the big batch recipe made enough food for me to use throughout the week.

This recipe could easily feed 6 people but there were only 10 chicken thighs in the 5 pound package. If serving 6, one may want to make sure that there are 12 thighs so that each person is served 2 thighs each.

This recipe was fantastic. We loved the flavors that all the different ingredients brought to each bite. It’s wonderful served with a warm, crusty bread though egg noodles are a perfect accompaniment too! The pre-slow cooker hands on time is worth it. Use a nice dry red in the recipe and serve the rest when you sit down to eat this delicious meal.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Oh my!! My husband and I made last week, and it was absolutely delish!! I was tempted to make only half instead of the recipe using 12 chicken thighs. But I’m so glad I made the full recipe! Leftovers were wonderful.
    We used our cast iron skillet to do most of the prep work before putting in our slow cooker.

    It’s a bit of prep work but I’m making again today and we are both very happy to have again. I don’t often use chicken thighs and wonder how it would be using chicken breasts or half thighs and half breasts if I made for company.

    Did anyone try using breasts instead of thighs? Any thoughts? Great recipe! Thank you so much!!

    1. Esther, so glad you liked it! You can use breasts, but they tend to get stringy due to lack of fat. The texture of thighs is much better.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this earlier in the week with just four chicken thighs and was so sorry I didn’t make the full recipe. Tonight I’m making the full recipe because it was so good last time I regretted not making more. The sauce is wonderful, the chicken falls off the bone in tender chunks infused with all that great Frenchy-flavored stuff. The only thing I had a hard time with was chopping the olive oil (lol). I didn’t use a slow cooker, used a giant cast iron enameled pot, 325 degrees for an hour and it was done. One of those recipes that make for even better leftovers.