Coq au vin

Coq au vin

By
From
Man Food
Serves
4
Photographer
Billy Law

This is one of those classic French dishes that hits all the right spots and never goes out of style. It may sound like a simple braised chicken dish, but it does put your French cooking techniques to the test, including making a stock and a roux. But the end result makes all the hard work worthwhile as you're rewarded with a comforting country chicken dish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g butter
150g bacon or pancetta, cut into thick strips
2 onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
35g plain flour
60ml cognac or brandy
750ml red wine, preferably Burgundy
12 small french shallots
250g button mushrooms
crusty bread, to serve

Chicken stock

Quantity Ingredient
1 large free-range chicken
25g butter
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
6 black peppercorns

Bouquet garni

Quantity Ingredient
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 sage sprig
2 tarragon sprigs

Method

  1. To make the stock, joint the chicken into 6 or 8 pieces. Set the chicken pieces aside and chop the carcass into smaller pieces. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium–high heat and fry the carcass until caramelised all over, for about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water, about 2–3 litres to cover everything in the pan and bring it up to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes, or until needed.
  2. To make the bouquet garni, tie the herbs together securely with a piece of kitchen string. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium–high heat, then fry the bacon for 1 minute to caramelise. Remove the bacon from the dish and pour most of the fat out, leaving 2 tablespoons for cooking. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown, then lift the pieces out and set aside with the bacon.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the dish and sauté until the onion has softened and become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute without browning too much. Sprinkle the flour into the dish, stirring continuously to avoid burning and cook until the flour turns golden brown.
  4. Pour a ladleful of stock into the dish, use a spatula to stir and scrape off all the caramelised bits from the base of the dish. Add another ladleful of stock when necessary and keep stirring until smooth. Add the cognac, and carefully flambé the dish to burn off the alcohol.
  5. Pour in the wine, then return the chicken pieces and bacon to the dish with the bouquet garni. Ladle more stock into the dish until all the chicken pieces are fully covered and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, fry the shallots and mushrooms until golden. Add them to the chicken. Cook for 40–60 minutes, until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone. Once ready, remove the chicken from the dish and set aside.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium and let the sauce reduce to a thick and glossy consistency. This will take about 10–15 minutes. Return the chicken to the dish and heat through. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
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