Coq au Vin, traditional, Slow-Cooker; new toy

I did it.

I bought another kitchen toy.

In all fairness I don’t buy new toys often, maybe one or two a year, and I never buy expensive toys (although…..)

I bought a slow-cooker.

I did not buy the cook book that used canned soups in the slow cooker.

I decided that if I can’t figure out how to adapt my own recipes to the slow cooker without the aid of condensed soups, I shouldn’t own one.

So there!

Since it was my new toy it seemed only fair that mon mari get to choose the first recipe.

Bless his heart – he picked something easy: Coq au Vin. .

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

Total time: 8 hours

plus marinating


  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 4 chicken legs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 carrot, cut in half the long way, then into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed lightly
  • 1 bouquet garni – or 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 bottle (.75L) hearty red wine, decent, drinkable wine, you may not use it all
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3oz (90gr) bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, trimmed. sliced
  • 8 shallots, peeled, left whole 
  • 1 tbs pure cocoa   not a ‘hot chocolate’ mix
  • 2 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs water you may not use it all

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin


  • To marinate:
  • Put the chicken, onion, carrot, garlic and bouquet garni in a deep bowl.
  • Pour enough wine over to cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • To cook the chicken:
  • Remove chicken from marinade and drain well (over marinade). 
  • Reserve marinade.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and fry until crisp.
  • Put into slow cooker
  • Add shallots to skillet and lightly brown.
  • Add to slow cooker
  • Add chicken to skillet and brown on all sides.
  • Add to slow cooker.
  • Add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.
  • Add a bit of marinade to the skillet to get all the good bits, stir well and add to slow cooker.
  • Add all vegetables and herbs from marinade to chicken and enough of the marinade to almost cover the chicken. Add more wine if needed. 
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours, stirring / rearranging chicken once or twice.
  • To finish:
  • Using a ladle, remove as much of the wine sauce as possible and put into a saucepan.
  • Turn slow cooker off but leave chicken in and cover to keep warm. 
  • Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat.
  • Put cocoa into a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup sauce.
  • Slowly whisk cocoa mixture into simmering sauce.  Continue whisking until it returns to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to reduce slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in water. Use to thicken sauce to desired consistency if needed. (The cocoa will thicken it slightly.) I used about half – the sauce is supposed to be a bit thick but not gluey.
  • Arrange chicken and vegetables on a small platter. Spoon some sauce over and serve the rest on the side.

Print Recipe

For the curious….

I did what I always do when I’me buying something unfamiliar.

First I do a bit of generic on-line research. I looked at various models and sizes and manufacturers; checked out the reviews and opinions.

Then I go to Amazon UK to see what’s available on this side of the pond and to read the Amazon reviews.

Finally, after I’ve made my decision, I go to Amazon France to order it. When you live in the middle of nowhere almost every purchase of anything other than food is done online – usually Amazon,

I ordered it on Sunday and it was delivered on Thursday – which is really amazing (the whole living in the middle of nowhere thing…)

It came in a huge box.

Inside the big box was a medium box and a small box. The medium box was the slow cooker and the small box was a plug converter….. It was a British slow cooker with the usual monster 3-prong electrical plug which doesn’t work here in France.

It’s the little things that keep life interesting….

Back to the food: The Coq au Vin was wonderful. The chicken very moist and tender. I made a few adjustments to the recipe – I added the shallots and mushrooms at the beginning instead of half-way through the cooking time because I didn’t want to fuss again. Slow cookers are supposed to be easy.

And I left the carrot and onion from the marinade in the dish – why not?

We didn’t notice any difference.

I was much happier doing all the prep work in the afternoon rather than at dinner time. Normally Coq au Vin takes a bit under 2 hours, which means that I’m in the kitchen for those 2 hours before dinner. This was easier.

More slow cooker recipes in the future…. lots more, actually.

Last update on February 7, 2016

7 thoughts on “Coq au Vin, traditional, Slow-Cooker; new toy”

  1. Boo on the plug issue.
    There is a little learning curve on a slow cooker but when a recipe works well, as your Coq Au Vin, it seems pointless to engage in extra fuss.
    Great looking coq au vin, a favorite anytime.

  2. Your coq au vin looks wonderful! I have to admit, I do love my slow cooker. Then again, I work every day, leaving at 6am and getting home at 5pm, so getting everything ready the night before and just setting the timer the next morning is a fabulous thing to do.

    Sometimes, it takes a bit of finagling to get the recipe to work, but I don’t really make anything with canned soup in it either.

  3. I know you are WAY better than me at coming up with your own recipes, but if you ever need any inspiration, I often get recipes from the “365 crockpot” blog. The large majority of her recipes are made from real food and are fairly healthy, so I usually turn towards her site when I know I’ll be using my crock pot!

  4. Tanna, life is always full of surprises here lol.

    Nightsmusic, I’m sure it will take some getting used to – esp since I don’t like to bother with directions….

    kuchenlatein, I didn’t know you had cookbooks…. are any in English?

    k_sam, thanks for the site…. 365 sounds like there should be some good inspiration.

    Kate is there an Amazon Morocco? You might have some luck with Amazon France – just because…. Maybe you could ask for special non-descript packaging…

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