Coq au Vin

This dish demonstrates what is really good about French cuisine – conviviality, friends and laughter, simple hearty food, rustic bread dipped into the sauce and the heady red wine that will be drunk. Time stops. That is why this dish has become totally timeless and loved by most. Despite a certain degree of complication, it is a must for a fantastic dinner party.

Coq au Vin

Ingredients Required

1.5kg Chicken, (free range or organic), cut into 10 pieces (ask your butcher to prepare this)
1L Red wine, full bodied (shiraz or cabernet sauvignon)
3 Carrots, medium, peeled and sliced 1.5cm
2 Celery sticks, sliced 1cm
20 Baby onions, peeled
1 tbsp level Black peppercorns, crushed
1 Bouquet garni (parsley stalks, 2 bay leaves, 6 sprigs thyme tied together)
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 heaped tbsp Plain flour
1 tbsp Olive oil
200g Bacon, smoked, streaky, rind removed, diced
400g Button mushrooms
20g Unsalted butter,
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp Flat parsley, chopped

Cooking Method

  1. Bring the red wine to the boil and flambé to remove the alcohol; cool down. Mix the chicken pieces, carrots, celery, baby onions, peppercorns and bouquet garni together and pour the cooled red wine over. Cover with cling film, refrigerate and marinade for 24 hours.
  2. Place a colander over a large bowl and drain the marinade. Leave to drain for a minimum of 1 hour to remove excess juices. Separate chicken, vegetables and herbs, pat dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sprinkle flour on baking tray and cook in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes until the flour has a wonderful pale brown colour; reserve. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150°C.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a thick bottomed large casserole dish (on a high heat) sear and colour the chicken pieces for 5–7 minutes on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces on to a plate, put to one side.
  5. In the same pan, add the drained vegetables and herbs. Lower the heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes (colour lightly). Spoon out the fat, add the flour and stir for a few seconds, add the wine from the marinade little by little whisking continuously to incorporate into the flour. Lastly add the chicken pieces into the red wine sauce. The sauce should be smooth and coating the back of a spoon. Bring to the boil, skim, cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Place a colander over a large saucepan and drain the Coq au Vin. Reduce the sauce by half. At this stage you should be very pleased with yourself. Taste the sauce. Do not add any salt as you will be adding the smoked diced bacon later. Put the chicken pieces back into the sauce.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan (20 – 25cm), cook the diced bacon for1 minute, add the button mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix the diced bacon and button mushrooms into the Coq au Vin. Sprinkle with parsley and serve the piping hot dish onto the table.