Family Dinner: Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin Recipe

MLK Weekend brought the first snow of the season! It wasn't much - less than an inch - but it was still exciting given the mild winter we've had so far. 

To celebrate the three-day weekend, Joe and I had his Dad, Stepmom & littlest sister over for dinner! We ended up playing a cutthroat game of Game of Thrones Monopoly that crushed the hopes and dreams of everyone but Joe, who is a tyrannical landlord and aggressive property developer!

On Monday, I took Mona for a long afternoon walk along the beach. It was only in the 20s, and quite windy, but the sun was strong and a good amount of people were out. A pair of kind strangers stopped us to tell me they had taken the sweet photo below of Mona and me & took my email to send it to me. That really made my day! Such a lovely thing to have. 

On Sunday, our delightful dinner guests brought an appetizer & desert, and I made dinner & broke out the slow cooker for the first time this year. I did a pretty terrible job at documenting the process, so I hope you'll forgive the lackluster photos accompanying the super delicious recipe below. 

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

I love Coq Au Vin - it's my go-to for winter weather dinner guests. It's simple and hearty yet feels like something special. But I hate mushrooms. So, I didn't include them in this recipe, which is a sin for some - so include about a pound of white mushrooms, if you must. 

Typically, I've made the Pioneer Woman's Coq Au Vin recipe for dinner parties, but this time I combined it with a slow cooker recipe from Whole Foods. There's still a bunch of prep work, so it's not quite as simple as other "set it and forget it" slow cooker recipes, but it does make the meat fall right off the bone!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 celery sticks
  • 3 or so cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 slices of bacon (plus one extra for snacking)
  • 8 chicken thighs (I used bone-in, skin-on)
  • Flour
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. Burgundy (or any cheap red) wine
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 lb egg noodles
  • butter

Prep

Chop the onions, chop the celeries, chop the carrots. Throw them all together with the minced garlic. Set aside

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat chicken all over with flour. Set chicken aside as well. 

Cook

Fry the bacon! I used thick-cut but regular is fine. Fry it until just crisp, don't go overboard like I did. Drain it on a paper towel. Chop into pieces when cool. 

Brown chicken pieces in bacon grease until both sides are golden brown (about 3 minutes per side). Set aside. 

Cook the mushrooms here in the same pan, if you're doing that.

Lastly, soften the veggies in the pan for a minute or two. Add the veggies to the slow cooker & top with chopped cooked bacon. 

Add chicken in a layer on top of veggies & bacon. Pour in the wine and the chicken broth and lay thyme sprigs on top. Cover & set Slow Cooker for 6-7 hours. 

After 6-7 hours cooking time, it smells SO GOOD. 

Serve with buttered egg noodles & bread for dipping. 

What's your favorite slow cooker crowd pleaser?