Coq au vin

Trish Deseine shares her take on this great French classic - a rich, flavoursome stew of chicken and red wine that's perfect for dinner parties or a satisfying family feast
By Trish Deseine
Coq au vin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the coq au vin

  • large knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large whole chicken, jointed into 6 pieces
  • 200 g smoked bacon pieces or lardons
  • 12 shallots
  • 2 tbsp armagnac, (optional)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 bottles full bodied red wine

For the cheesy croutons

  • 6 slices thick white bread
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 200 g gruyère cheese, grated

Method

1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in large, heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces followed by the bacon lardons and finally the shallots. Fry for 5-10 minutes until the chicken, bacon and shallots are golden.

2. Pour in the Armagnac if using and, using a long match, carefully set it alight to flambé.

3. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken, bacon and shallots and stir everything together. Pour in the red wine and give everything a good stir, scraping up any of the flavoursome bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the casserole.

4. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for about 3 hours, or until the chicken in cooked and tender and the sauce is rich and flavoursome. Check the liquid level from time to time, topping up with a little water if necessary.

5. For the cheesy croutons: about 20 minutes before the chicken is cooked, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

6. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and toast in the oven for a few minutes until crisp and golden.

7. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the toasts and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

8. Arrange the cheesy toasts on top of the coq au vin and serve.

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