What to Serve with Coq au Vin: 13 Sides to Perfect This French Classic
Ah, the French and their Coq au Vin! Those Frenchies can make a simple chicken stewed in wine sound so fancy!
This humble dish rose to prominence in 1961 when Julia Child featured it in her famous cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” She also prepared it twice on-air as “The French Chef.”
It’s not as hard as it sounds:
With this grand reputation, you’d think it would be difficult to make, but it’s quite easy to prepare.
Julia’s version uses the dark meat, thighs and drumsticks, cooked bacon, and hearty vegetables, all braised in burgundy.
Want to become your own French Chef?
We’ll show you how easy it can be to make gorgeous Coq au Vin sides with ideas on delicious accompaniments to serve with it.
After we have answered the question of what to serve with Coq au Vin, we’ll even help you pick the best wine to go with it!
So let’s get started learning about this famous dish and the best Coq au Vin sides.
Coq Au Vin Side Dishes: Ideas to Keep Your Taste Buds Tingling
The options for what to serve with Coq au Vin are varied, and not all come from the nation that first produced this delightful dish.
We have you covered:
Let’s take a journey through side dish options you can prepare easily to impress your dinner guests.
1. Versatile Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are the best.
Delightful contrasting textures, creamy inside with a golden brown crispy crust. So comforting and also easy to make.
This dish requires very little prep, and the oven does most of the work.
What’s not to love?
If you’d like a lighter version, you can mix the potatoes with one part cauliflower to two parts potatoes, and it will still taste divine.
For a more luxurious version, you can mix the milk with a little cream to taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
2. Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Vinaigrette
Brussels sprouts look like adorable mini cabbages. They’re so cute, but they have a bit of a bad reputation.
If you think you hate brussels sprouts, I understand.
If they’re poorly prepared, they’re bitter, smelly, and thoroughly unpleasant. Why would anyone want to eat that?
I encourage you to be open-minded and give them one more try. If the sprouts are correctly cooked and dressed, they’re delicious, and you might even have a new favorite.
These are halved and roasted, which brings out their natural sweetness. Toss in a dressing of balsamic vinegar and honey and be prepared to change your mind!
This recipe comes from Once upon a Chef, and you should check out the other delicious recipes on their blog.
3. Roasted Root Vegetables With Rosemary
There is no end to the versatility of this roasted vegetable recipe. You can pick any winter vegetables you like, coat them in olive oil and salt and pepper, and pop them in the oven.
Here are my favorites:
I like onions, carrots, beets, rutabagas, celery, whole garlic cloves, and potatoes or sweet potatoes. Make sure you cut them all to about the same size, so they cook evenly.
I like to cover the veggies with foil for the first part of the cooking process, so they steam and don’t become dry. If you can get those heavy foil bags, they’re ideal for this purpose.
When you reach 30 minutes, mix in the coarsely chopped rosemary and spread the vegetables out so they can crisp up.
So hearty and healthy!
4. Feel-Good Fall Salad
Roasted sweet potatoes, greens, avocado, crumbled cheese, and nuts all tossed in your choice of dressing.
What could be better?
You can substitute any winter squash for the sweet potatoes, but roasted butternut would be my first choice after the sweet potatoes. Try this salad with arugula, spinach, or kale for variety.
Goat cheese, crumbled feta, or blue cheese would all be good here. Try almonds, pecans, walnuts, or even pepitas. Toast them first to bring out their full flavors.
Choose from dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, sultanas, or even apricots. Finally, take a look at the recipe to see which dressing choices suit you best.
So many options!
Gimme some oven is one of my favorite sites for inspiration in the kitchen and you should add them to your bookmarks
5. Savory Sweet Potato Mash
I’m probably the only human being alive that doesn’t like mashed potatoes.
I find their texture unpleasantly grainy, and they seem to require a ton of butter and cream to make them palatable.
In contrast, sweet potatoes are much silkier when mashed, but let’s skip the brown sugar and marshmallows, please!
What goes into it?
This savory version uses garlic, scallions, parsley, salt and pepper, butter, and sour cream in this beautiful and colorful dish. You’ll still enjoy the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes, but it’s balanced with the addition of savory ingredients.
I’d be tempted to add some chopped celery and toasted nuts as a colorful and crunchy garnish.
6. Rutabagas Have a Good Personality
The rutabaga is not a beauty queen, I’ll admit. But don’t let this wonderful vegetable pass you by just because it’s not a looker.
It’s a fantastic fall vegetable that would make one of the best Coq au Vin sides.
Rutabagas are the big sisters to turnips, but they’re milder and aren’t bitter the way I find turnips to be. When cooked, they’re sweet yet savory like a creamy golden potato, still very satisfying but without as much starch.
Toss them in brown butter and roast, super simple. Roasting brings out rutabaga’s charming personality.
You can find a plethora of cooking options for this vegetable by navigating to CookingLight.
7. Onions With Options
Onions get included with practically every dish, but they’re great on their own too. These roasted onions have a variety of serving options, and don’t we all love having choices?
Cut the onions into bite-sized chunks and dress them with olive oil and salt before popping them in the oven. Tuck a sprig or two of aromatic rosemary or some cloves of garlic in if you like.
When they’re done, you can dress them with vinegar, or go for a light sprinkling of brown sugar 10 minutes before the timer goes off.
Caramelized onions and brown sugar, need I say more?
8. Braised Fennel With Apricots and Figs
When I read this recipe, my mouth won’t stop watering. It seems like such a perfect fall dish, and it would be a dinner party showstopper.
Anytime you braise or roast a winter vegetable; it brings out its natural sweetness.
So how delicious would this be braised in wine, and even better orange juice? Add dried apricots and dried figs to this gorgeous braising liquid, and I may faint from happiness.
As far as Coq au Vin side dishes go, I can’t imagine anything better. I love a sweet and salty combo. If you do too, this is one to try.
Try out May I Have That Recipe? for more exquisite ideas for sides and mains like this one.
9. Butternut and Apple Casserole
Here’s another naturally sweet one, so I’d add the brown sugar in stages to see if you can cut back.
I find sugar masks the natural flavors of foods, so I reduce it whenever I can.
The beauty of this dish is in addition to delicious ingredients, is that you can make it ahead and bake it when you’re ready. It will also freeze well, so it’s a great make-ahead option.
You can experiment:
See which apple and nut combinations you like best. Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, or Jazz would all be good apple choices.
Try pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds. Dry toast the nuts in a skillet or on a baking sheet before you add them.
The Seasoned Mom has a whole host of recipe ideas for you to enjoy today. Take a peek at their blog next time you are stuck for meal ideas.
10. Roasted Red and Gold Beet Salad
I had no idea how great beets were until I was well into adulthood. All I’d ever had were pickled beets from a can.
In a word, Ewwww.
Once I discovered fresh beets at farmer’s markets, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot, they were terrific! Gorgeous reds and beautiful golds, with beet green tops as a bonus.
I used them in roasted root vegetable medleys, so warm and comforting on a fall or winter’s day. This roasted beet salad has the same jewel-toned beets used in a new and fresh way.
This salad is served on watercress, but if you can’t find that, you can use mesclun, spinach, a bit of arugula, kale, or a combination of any of these. The crumbled goat cheese ties everything together beautifully.
Make sure to dress the red beets separately, since that intense red will transfer to anything it touches.
Plate carefully, and your finished product will look like it came from Instagram.
11. Crushed Potato, Brussels Sprouts, and Bacon
This dish is an exciting and delicious combo to serve with Coq au Vin.
You can choose red potatoes, or it would also be good with fingerling potatoes or Yukon golds. The potatoes are crushed with herbs, not mashed, which is a novel treatment.
Cut the brussels sprouts lengthwise and blanch them until they’re bright green. Immerse them in icy water immediately after they green up to stop the cooking. Sprouts are not a vegetable you want to overcook.
I’ve had brussels sprouts with bacon before, but I think the herbed potatoes add contrast, and the butter brings it all together.
Nadia Lim is one of the most inspired cooks, so be sure to review her list of recipes and cooking methods.
12. Apple, Beet, and Fennel Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
I love everything in this salad. Every ingredient is a must-have.
Give me a nice Fuji apple any day, my favorite. Add the hearty, earthy sweetness of the beets and the crunchy flavorful fennel, and you have a perfect fall salad.
It gets even better as you top the salad off with roughly chopped fresh mint and maple candied walnuts, then wrap it all up with a maple-balsamic-dijon mustard dressing.
The Simple Veganista should be on your list for non-meat options, even if you aren’t vegan.
13. Winter Panzanella
A Panzanella is an Italian bread salad with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and soaked stale bread. We’re suggesting a winter version that would go well with Coq au Vin.
The winter Panzanella features roasted butternut squash and beautiful brussels sprouts dressed in a sherry vinaigrette.
The croutons are flavored and perfumed with garlic and fresh herbs.
If you’ve never tried a Panzanella salad, this would be a fantastic one to start with.
What to Serve with Coq Au Vin: A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Thou
Wine to Serve With Coq au Vin
The first wine suggestion is easy. Open a bottle of the burgundy you used in the Coq au Vin!
The rule of cooking with wine is never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink.
You’ll have plenty of Burgundies to choose from, and other red varietals that are light to medium-bodied with good acidity will also fill the bill.
You can go with Pinot Noir in a Burgundian style.
You don’t want anything too sweet, so stick to dry varietals. Oregon and New Zealand have some excellent Pinot choices.
If you want something a little fruitier, give a Beaujolais a try. Everyone has their wine preferences, and many people enjoy wines that are fruitier and more accessible.
Consider a Cote-du-Rhone or anything from the southern Rhone region. A Languedoc would be a great choice, as well.
If you’d like to venture out of France, look for a lovely southern Italian or Sicilian Red.
Europeans have been making wine for centuries, so it’s generally a pretty safe bet that you’ll get a good one.
Ask your local wine merchant for recommendations, read as much as you can, and ask friends for their favorites.
Buy the best wine you can afford, but there’s no need to go crazy and overspend. Set an amount and stick to it.
You’ve already got a great Coq au Vin dinner on your hands, with a plethora of side dish choices. What could make it better?
Sourdough is always my first choice when I think of what bread I want with a meal and what’s best for dipping.
The Coq au Vin’s delicious sauce, rich with butter and red wine, would pair perfectly with sourdough. Slice and toast it, and you’ve got a little piece of heaven ready to dip in.
French Bread or Baguette
The sweeter cousin to sourdough, French bread has the same crunchy exterior and soft inner dough.
Pull these loaves apart with your hands, spread on the fresh butter, and get every last bit of sauce.
Coq au Vin Sides: The Verdict
Coq au Vin is a classic dish that’s easy to make, and a dinner party hit. It’s just the thing on a cold fall or winter’s night when you want something comforting and cozy.
We’ve shown you how to make it and hooked you up with ideas for 13 delicious sides to go with it. So now you have no excuse for not knowing what to serve with coq au vin.
Our suggestions range from salads to veggie dishes, savory to sweet, so we hope you’ll try some new ingredients.
You’ll enjoy making this dish, and choosing which side to try first means you should be set. You can now relax with a glass of wine, as the French Chef would say Bon Appetit!
More great European chicken dish sides: