Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is the granddaddy of boozy dishes. A whole bottle of wine. Do it right, and this is probably the best recipe in the book. Serves 4 hungry people, and fills them right up.

  • 1 large chicken
  • whole black pepper
  • 150g (5 oz) bacon, cut into thin strips
  • butter
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsps plain flour
  • 4 or 5 small sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 80g (3 oz) butter
  • 12 shallots, peeled
  • 200g (7 oz) small mushrooms
  • 2 tbsps cognac
  • a bottle of red wine
  • For the stock:
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • whole black pepper
  1. Joint the chicken into 6 or 8 pieces, and put the giblets, carcass and bones into a large pan with one of the onions and one of the carrots, a dozen or so peppercorns, and cover with water. Bring it to the boil then turn down the heat and leave to simmer.
  2. In a large casserole pot, cook the bacon strips with half the butter over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Take the strips out, set them aside, and cook the chicken pieces in the hot fat, packed together and turning them over when they start to brown. Take the chicken out and put with the bacon.
  3. Cook the onions, carrot and garlic in the same pan for a few minutes, until the onion softens, then put the chicken and the bacon back in and stir in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes more, then stick in the thyme and bay leaves and slosh in the wine and cognac. Spoon in the hot stock until everything is covered, and bring to the boil. Immediately turn it down and allow to simmer.
  4. Melt the rest of the butter in a small pan, and cook the shallots and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add these to the chicken pot and leave simmering for 45 minutes to an hour—check that the chicken is good and tender.
  5. Finally, take the chicken out and boil the sauce to thicken it up a little, but not too much. A few minutes should do the trick. Put the chicken back in and serve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *