This may not be entirely classic in old school French cooking terms, but it’s pretty close, tastes delicious and can be thrown together fairly easily. Then just sit back and enjoy the aromas of chicken cooking in red wine wafting from your oven!
Coq au Vin
- 1 nice fat chicken – the best you can afford
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic,
- Packet of bacon lardons (or pancetta)
- 6 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- a bottle of nice red wine
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 10 shallots or button onions
- 10 button mushrooms
- First joint your chicken into 8 – if this is a challenge, just buy chicken pieces but include some on the bone as this adds flavour – and place them in a large bowl with the carrots and onions chopped up, the bay leaves & thyme, the bottle of red wine and some peppercorns. Leave to marinate as long as you can – overnight is good, but even a couple of hours helps!
- Then add your lardons and a knob of butter to a large heavy based casserole and sauté until golden and some of their fat has been released! Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
- Remove your chicken pieces from their bath and pat dry on kitchen towel. Brown off the chicken in the same pan – actually they’ll be dark red in colour but you know what I mean! Once they have been nicely “browned” on both sides remove them.
- Add the onions and carrots from the marinade to the pan and a couple of tablespoons of plain flour, stirring to coat and pick up the fatty juices.
- Return the chicken and lardons to the pan and gradually add all of the red wine marinade.
- Cover and put it in the oven – about 185C – for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If it’s going too quickly i.e. the meat is browning too much or the liquid disappearing too quickly, turn the oven down. It benefits from slow cooking.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, pan fry the button onions and mushrooms in some butter and add them to the casserole for the last 20 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of parsley, some good crusty French bread or creamy mash, and another glass of red alongside! Yum diddly!