Coq au vin
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
- Serves 6
We've made this classic French chicken casserole a little lighter than the traditional version, but it still has a rich, deep flavour
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 3 rashers (100g) dry-cured, smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped
- 12 small shallots, peeled
- 2 free-range chicken legs (460g), skin removed
- 4 free-range chicken thighs with bone and skin (650g), skin removed
- 2 free-range, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (280g)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac
- 600ml red wine
- 150ml good-quality chicken stock
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves, to make a bouquet garni
- small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
For the mushrooms
For the thickener
- STEP 1
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof dish. Tip in 3 trimmed and chopped smoked back bacon rashers and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- STEP 2
Add 12 peeled shallots to the pan and fry, stirring or shaking the pan often, for 5-8 mins until well browned all over. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
- STEP 3
Take 2 chicken legs, 4 chicken thighs and 2 boneless chicken breasts, all with skin removed and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- STEP 4
Pour ½ tbsp olive oil into the pan, then fry half the chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 5-8 mins until well browned. Remove, then repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove and set aside.
- STEP 5
Scatter in 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and fry briefly, then, with the heat medium-high, pour in 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.
- STEP 6
Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pan along with any juices, then pour in a little of 600ml red wine, stirring the bottom of the pan again.
- STEP 7
Stir in the rest of the wine, 150ml good-quality chicken stock and 2 tsp tomato purée. Drop in 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves to make a bouquet garni, season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then return the bacon and shallots to the pan.
- STEP 8
Cover, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add the chicken breasts and cook for 50 mins - 1hr.
- STEP 9
Just before ready to serve, heat 1 ½ tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large, and fry over a high heat for a few mins until golden. Remove and keep warm.
- STEP 10
Lift the chicken, shallots and bacon from the pan and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni.
- STEP 11
To make the thickener, mix 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 ½ tsp olive oil and 1 tsp softened butter in a small bowl using the back of a teaspoon.
- STEP 12
Bring the wine mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually drop in small pieces of the thickener, whisking each piece in using a wire whisk. Simmer for 1-2 mins.
- STEP 13
Scatter the mushrooms over the chicken, then pour over the wine sauce. Garnish with a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley.