This week in our series of Winter Warmer specials, we give you the classic French Coq au Vin, a wintry comfort food dish at its best. It embodies the true spirit of French cuisine- a delicious rustic dish that can be prepared in advance and gathers everyone around the table to enjoy hearty food and a good glass of wine.
- 4 good quality chicken quarters
- 300g smoked streaky bacon, rind removed, diced
- 1 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives
- 300g baby button mushrooms, trimmed
- 3 carrots, chopped in chunks
- 3 celery sticks, chopped in chunks
- 2 tbs plain flour
- 1 small bag of baby onions
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 springs fresh thyme
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 20 min
- 60 min
1. Bring the red wine to the boil and reduce it by a third, to remove the alcohol and concentrate the colour and flavour.
2. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper, and sprinkle it with some flour.
3. Grease a Dutch Pot with olive oil and then add the chicken in batches, skin-side down, and fry for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
4. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
5. Add the baby onions to the pot and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just starting to crisp, then add the garlic and brown for 1-2 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
6. Fry the vegetables for around 1-2 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
7. On a medium heat, add the wine onto the Dutch Pot and whisk in the wine little by little; this will create a sauce and prevent lumps from forming.
8. Bring to the boil and skim any impurities from the surface. The wine will be slightly thickened and have a consistency of a light sauce. If the liquid is not enough add a little of water.
9. Preheated oven to 200C/400F/ Gas Mark 6.
10. Add the chicken pieces, thymes and bay leaf’s and return to the boil. Cover the Dutch pot with the lid and transfer to a preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
11. In the meantime, add olive oil to a frying pan and cook the diced bacon for couple of minutes until slightly brown.
12. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
13. Add the bacon and mushrooms to the coq au vin 10 minutes before it is removed from the oven.
Sprinkle with chives or parsley and serve piping hot, straight from the casserole.
To serve, ladle the Coq au vin onto serving plates with a dollop of mashed potatoes alongside.