Chicken in white wine sauce recipe image

Chicken in White Wine Sauce (Coq au Vin Blanc)

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This classic French chicken in white wine sauce is one of my favorite one-pan recipes to make when I’m craving a comforting, flavorful dish. The meal is so easy to whip up and can be ready in under an hour.

Chicken in White Wine Sauce

The French name for this dish is coq au vin blanc, the sister dish to classic coq au vin. Classic coq au vin is made with a red wine sauce, whereas this one is made with a white wine sauce.

The dish can be made with or without cream, but it’s just dreamier with the cream.

As Julia Child says, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

Chicken in white wine sauce with carrots image

While coq au vin is typically made with mushrooms, I tend to make this chicken in white wine sauce with carrots.

It’s not that the mushrooms aren’t delicious, I just find that more often than not, I’ll have carrots stocked in my fridge rather than mushrooms.

Easy White Wine Sauce for Chicken

The delicious flavor of this dish is largely derived from the white wine cream sauce that the chicken is essentially bathed in.

The poached chicken in white wine sauce absorbs all the scrumptious flavor from the creamy white wine sauce and the ingredients in that sauce.

Those ingredients include a classic French staple: bacon! Similar to how beef bourguignon is started, this chicken in white wine sauce recipe begins with browning some bacon.

You’d be surprised at what bacon can do for a dish like this. A couple of slices, chopped up and fried to a crisp will create the perfect starter for this recipe.

chicken in white wine image

While a white cream sauce has the luxe richness of cream, the crisp bacon helps add a savory punch of flavor.

The chicken is browned in this bacon fat and set aside until it’s added again later for further cooking.

What kind of chicken do you use?

You can use any cut of chicken that you prefer. You’ll just want to use chicken with skin on.

Whenever you’re making a stew, it’s best to use poultry or meat with the skin on. That way you can brown the chicken or beef and get incredible flavor.

You can always peel the skin off later if you’re not a fan of chicken skin.

I tend to use a variety of cuts when I make this dish, including drumsticks, thighs, and chicken breast, but chicken thighs are my favorite!

White Wine for Cooking

After you’ve browned the chicken and removed it from the pot, you’ll want to sauté a mix of diced onion and garlic.

After the onion and garlic are added to the pot, a splash of white wine is poured in to help deglaze the pan and scrape up all those glorious bacon bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

That’s really as fancy as the base for the white wine sauce gets, but after you taste it, you’d think the ingredient list would have been a whole lot longer.

classic french chicken in white wine sauce close up image

What wine is good for cooking chicken?

A crisp, dry white wine is always best for cooking chicken. I enjoy using sauvignon blanc when I make this chicken in white wine sauce.

Contrary to some people’s opinion, you don’t have to use an expensive bottle of wine for dishes like this.

That said, I like to choose something decent that I can happily drink afterwards with the dish as well.

poached chicken in white wine cream sauce image

Creamy Heaven

Once the pan has been deglazed, the chicken is added back into the pan, along with the carrots/mushrooms, and a more generous helping of white wine.

This mixture simmers away for about 35 minutes until the heavy cream is added. Mmm, this is where the goodness happens.

Yes, you could make chicken in white wine sauce with no cream, but what’s the fun in that? You’d get none of the the thickness and richness of a cream sauce.

The cream is added in the last 10 minutes of the recipe. Once the cream has been added, the contents of the dish are left to simmer and bubble for the final 10 minutes.

The sauce will reduce and become thick and luscious.

It’s perfect for dipping a crusty French baguette in. A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley is the finishing touch before you can dig in.

Now that’s what I call a fantastic dinner!

Chicken in white wine sauce recipe image

Chicken in White Wine Sauce

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A delicious one-pan dinner made of chicken cooked in a creamy, white wine sauce. 


  • 6 pieces of chicken, skin-on bone-in (any type of cut)
  • 2 strips bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 a bottle white wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, (180 ml)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, (30 ml)
  • French bread, to serve with


  1. Pat dry the chicken pieces, then salt and pepper both sides of each piece of chicken. 
  2. To a cast iron pan (or a dutch oven), add the chopped bacon. Cook until over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan using a slotted spoon.
  3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken to the pan, skin-side down first, cooking each side for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until the chicken is nicely browned and crisp. Remove the chicken from the pan. 
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the diced onion. Sauté over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent and softened. Add the garlic slices and sauté for another 30 seconds. Pour in a splash of white wine (about 1 heaping tablespoon) so that you can deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bacon bits stuck to the pan. 
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan, along with the sliced carrots, and about half a bottle of white wine. The wine should reach just up to the tops of the chicken pieces, but the chicken should not be fully submerged to the point that you can't see the top of the chicken. Place a lid on the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 35 minutes. 
  6. Remove the lid from the pan and stir in the cream. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then give the mixture a stir. Raise the heat to medium-high and let the mixture simmer and bubble away for another 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken a couple of times as the sauce simmers for those 10 minutes. Taste test the sauce for salt, and add more if needed.
  7. Garnish the dish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with a side of crusty French bread. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570
Chicken in White Wine Sauce aka Coq au Vin Blanc. Chicken cooked in a creamy white wine sauce. A one-pan dinner recipe via

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  1. Hi & thank you for a great recipe. So easy to make as well. I have a small confession to make:- I made this with carrots – and mushrooms – and shallots – and a leek! Really, really good, if a little extravagant. For the wine, I used a decent peachy Chardonnay. Thank you again.

    Kevcooks (From the UK)

    1. Hi Kevin! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for coming back to leave a comment! 🙂

  2. Great recipe, I’ve made it several times now. I can’t figure out why my bacon doesn’t really stick to my cast iron skillet at all though. No bacon bits are there to scrape, and if that’s the case, I’d much rather just start the recipe with some bacon grease…that’s what I’m doing anyway if no bits of bacon stick to the pan. Is it because I’m stirring and moving the bacon around as it cooks? Or maybe it’s too greasy for it to stick to the pan? There must be something I’m missing…

    1. Hi Jennifer, it could be that you’re using a brand of bacon that doesn’t have sugar (or as much sugar) in it as other brands? The sugar in bacon often makes it really stick to pans. But having a brand of bacon without sugar is great, so it’s not like I would promote getting one with it! ha! Clean bacon like that is usually just a bit harder to find in the U.S. In any case, what you really want is the residual bacon fat or grease, so if you’re using bacon grease that works. Another technique to consider is to not cook the bacon until it’s fully crisp, and the reason for that is that when bacon crisps up, it releases from your pan much more easily than when it’s not fully cooked. Normally, we would want to wait until our bacon (or really any seared meat/chicken) is fully cooked and crisp so that we can easily release it from the pan, but if you’re looking to have some of those bacon bits to incorporate into the stew, try not stirring the bacon and instead remove it sooner than you normally would. Just an idea! 🙂

      1. Good ideas! I’ve known that food releases itself on the bbq pit when it’s ready to be turned over, and if it sticks to the grates, then you’re flipping it too soon. Never would’ve thought to apply that here though! I also heard that you don’t want to move chicken around in pan before flipping it when you’re going for a nice brown crust…don’t move it at all until it’s time to flip it over. I definitely broke that rule and think it’ll help…I end up cooking it much longer than suggested because it won’t get brown. Sugar is a good suggestion too…will have to try a brand with some sweetness! Thanks! The first time I made this, it was TO DIE FOR, and the other times it was still good. I have a hard time not eating all the carrots while reducing sauce…such amazing flavor! I love mushrooms but think carrots were a better choice here, and they look prettier too!

  3. Delicious…I used chicken thighs and the traditional mushrooms rather than carrots. I also used half fat crème fraiche instead of cream, but it still won approval from husband and visiting son, who is himself an excellent cook…will certainly cook again and try with carrots

  4. This was absolutely amazing! I made it last night with what we had: boneless chicken breasts and a sweet reisling. I loved the carrots, and added mushrooms and kale to the mix at the same time. There was only one downside; with the additional ingredients, there wasn’t as much sauce for the baguette. Upside: every bite was packed with flavorful veggies! This is the best recipe I’ve come across in a long time. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a kind review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Ali! 🙂

  5. Could I use pancetta instead of bacon and throw back in? Cooking this for 8 possibly 10 people, any tips welcome!

    1. Hi Katie! You can definitely use pancetta, and yes you can definitely throw it back in too if you want to! 🙂 You’ll just want to make sure that all of the chicken pieces, whether you’re using 6, 8, or 10, are almost submerged in the wine (just the tops should be showing), as instructed in the recipe card. This may mean you need more wine if you’re using more pieces of chicken. Enjoy!

    1. You don’t need to. The bacon is just used to render fat and flavor from. You can save the crispy bacon to use later in an omelette, mashed potatoes, or perhaps a quiche lorraine! 🙂

    1. Hello! Yes you most certainly can! I would do exactly as you wrote and just add the cream after you’ve thawed and reheated it. 🙂

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