Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin (How to Cook a Rooster)

When it comes time to butcher some roosters to reduce their numbers in your flock, you might find them quite tough and difficult to butcher. Roosters make for particularly tough meat, and need to be cooked properly in order to enjoy them, but when you do, they can provide a delicious and rich flavor that will make you glad you ever had roosters.

This recipe is loosely based on Julia Child’s Coq au Vin recipe, which you can check out and follow more closely if you like, but of course most Coq au Vin recipes you will find use store-bought chicken parts, as the majority of city dwellers don’t have access to country roosters!

You can easily adjust and adapt this as you like, but the trick is the slow cooking process and the wine, which will soften and bring out the best flavor of the rooster.


1-2 roosters, plucked and butchered

1-2 bottles of red wine

3-4 cups chicken stock or broth

1-2 onions or shallots



  1. As soon as your rooster is slaughtered and butchered, place the pieces in a bowl or tupperware, pour half the wine over it, enough to thoroughly soak the rooster (and ideally immerse it, but of course wine is expensive). Let soak overnight, up to 24 hours.
  2. Once you are ready to cook, caramelize your onions or shallots in a skillet and place in your slow cooker. Set aside .
  3. In the same skillet, using more butter or oil, gently brown your rooster pieces on all sides.
  4. Place the rooster pieces in the slow cooker on top of the onions and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper
  5. Cover the rooster pieces with the remaining wine and chicken stock.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, checking regularly to see how tender the rooster meat has become. Once it is tender to your liking, it’s done.

This is a great way to prepare several roosters at once, if you’ve got small roosters and would like to use the meat in other dishes, but it can be served as is as well, with a side of roasted potatoes and a simple salad perhaps. Enjoy!

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