Instant Pot Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

October 25, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: From Ann Mah’s Instantly French! Cookbook:

While this old-fashioned country recipe traditionally uses an entire chicken—preferably a tough old bird—here I use chicken thighs, which braise beautifully in the pressure cooker. For the braising liquid, I like to use an inexpensive (don’t spend more than $10), medium-bodied red wine like a Beaujolais Villages. Buttered broad noodles are a traditional accompaniment.
Ann Mah

Food52 Review: Featured in: 10 Quick & Easy Dinners the Whole Family Will Love.The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min


  • 1 tablespoon to 2 olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 or 4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces / 85 grams), cut crosswise into ½-inch (1.25 cm) lardons
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 5 ounces (140 grams) each, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup (250 ml) red wine, such as Beaujolais Villages
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 piece bay leaf
  • 1 pinch fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound (250 grams) button mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup to ½ cup (60 to 120 ml) low-sodium chicken stock (optional)
  • Buttered broad noodles, for serving
In This Recipe


  1. Using the Sauté function, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the pressure cooker. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. You should have about 3 tablespoons of rendered fat left in the pressure cooker—if necessary, add an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Dry the chicken thighs thoroughly with paper towels and add them to the pressure cooker. (You may need to do this in batches.) Cook until golden on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Turn off the Sauté function.
  3. Add the wine and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Return the bacon and the chicken thighs to the pot, along with any juices from the plate, arranging the chicken skin-side down to absorb more color from the wine. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  4. While the chicken cooks, in a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of the butter over medium-high heat until foamy. When the foam has started to subside, add the mushrooms and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. In a small bowl, mash the flour into the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) butter until it forms a smooth paste (this is the beurre manié).
  6. When the chicken has finished cooking, manually release the steam. Transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving the liquid in the pot. Discard the bay leaf.
  7. Using the Sauté function, bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. With a wire whisk, beat in the beurre manié until the sauce becomes glossy and coats the back of a spoon. If the sauce becomes too thick, add the stock, starting with 1 tablespoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as desired.
  8. Return the chicken, along with any juices from the plate, and mushrooms to the pressure cooker and heat them through in the sauce. Serve with buttered broad noodles.
  9. BEURRE MANIÉ: Sauces are one of the pressure cooker’s weak points, as liquid cannot evaporate and reduce while it is sealed. Flour or other starch added to the pressure cooker before sealing could burn on the bottom or clog the vent holes. Given these factors, the sauce of a dish braised in the pressure cooker is thin. It’s up to you, then, to thicken it. A classic beurre manié—or “kneaded butter”—is the perfect solution. Composed of equal parts flour and butter that have been mashed together, the paste is whisked into hot braising liquid at the end of the cooking time, turning the sauce thick and glossy, without lumps. Beurre manié is extremely easy to make—just use a fork to mash butter and flour together on a plate. But to save time, you can prepare a large quantity in the food processor. Divide it into 1-tablespoon portions and store them in the freezer. When you need to thicken a sauce, simply throw a frozen lump into your boiling braising liquid and whisk away.

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Reviews (16) Questions (1)

16 Reviews

Lauren B. January 4, 2019
Set out to make this and I was out of tomato paste and bacon - however this recipe totally prevailed (with the aid of some tomato soup)! Everyone loved it and I can't wait to make it again as written. Also the beurre manie worked so good I have extra in my freezer now! Thanks for posting such a great recipe!
Author Comment
Ann M. January 6, 2019
I'm so happy you prevailed and enjoyed it!
Ruth B. December 30, 2018
this recipe is easy and the results are delicious! My husband pronounced it 'fit for company', which is his term for a winner! I found the instruction and techniques perfect. Thank you!<br />
Author Comment
Ann M. January 6, 2019
I'm so happy you and your husband enjoyed it!
lynx60489 December 3, 2018
Any guidance on how to modify this recipe for a dutch oven or slow cooker?
Author Comment
Ann M. December 3, 2018
This recipe for sheet pan coq au vin looks amazing!<br />
Jen V. November 4, 2018
Thanks, Ann! I really enjoyed this recipe and coincidentally shared it w my sister, Julie, who recently worked for your husband at USUN. Turned out delicious! Congrats on the new cookbook and thank you!
Author Comment
Ann M. November 5, 2018
What a fun coincidence! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jen!
KLD1967 October 31, 2018
Can you use skinless and/or boneless thighs?
Author Comment
Ann M. November 1, 2018
I haven't tried it, but you'd probably want to dramatically decrease the cooking time and be prepared for the meat to fall apart in the sauce – which can also be delicious! Good luck!
Emma November 1, 2018
Of course you can but some of the flavor is coming from the skin and bones, so be aware of that also.
Emma October 28, 2018
I made this tonight; it was yummy. I used a Chilean merlot malbec blend. Only real change I made was to thinly slice the mushrooms. And I sauted in a large pan instead of the Instant pot. Pressure cooked as given. Eight small thighs was just enough for four people. The chicken was good but I Loved the mushrooms.
Author Comment
Ann M. October 29, 2018
I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!
lynn S. October 28, 2018
Is there a typo? I would not dare to cook chicken thighs for 8 minutes THEN pressure cook them for 25 minutes. Maybe if you were using a whole chicken, but this recipe calls for just bone in chicken thighs. Anyone tried this?
Susan H. October 28, 2018
I agree. I would say maybe 10 minutes on the pressure cooking.
Author Comment
Ann M. October 29, 2018
Nope, it's not a typo :) While recipe testing, I tried many different cooking times and 25 minutes is the right amount of time to achieve the tenderness of 1.5 hour braise traditional to this recipe. The meat is tender and slips off the bone, but it is not sloppy or falling apart. Of course, you may prefer chicken of a different texture, and I encourage you to experiment with your own methods!