Coq au vin

This slow-cooked French classic of chicken, bacon and red wine from Tom Kitchin is the perfect dish for a cold autumn evening
Coq au vin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 24 hours marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 free-range chicken, cut into 8 portions

For the marinade

  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 celery, sitcks, chopped
  • 750 ml bottle red wine
  • 1 bouquet garni

For the mashed potatoes

  • 300 g rock salt
  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 100 g butter
  • 300 ml milk
  • salt, and white pepper

For the coq au vin

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 celery, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100 g flour, seasoned generously with salt and black pepper
  • 750 ml bottle red wine
  • 250 ml chicken stock, or veal stock

For the garnish

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 200 g button mushrooms
  • 4 baby leeks, trimmed, left whole
  • 100 g bacon, cut into strips


1. For the marinade: tip the chicken pieces into a large, non-metallic bowl and mix in all of the marinade ingredients. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

2. For the mashed potatoes: preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

3. Pour the salt into a baking tray and arrange the potatoes on top. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours, or until cooked and fluffy on the inside.

4. For the coq au vin: while the potatoes are in the oven, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry on kitchen paper. Discard the marinade (it will have acquired a bitter taste).

5. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large casserole dish or heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon, carrots, onion, celery and garlic and fry for 5 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the vegetables are starting to turn golden-brown.

6. While the vegetables are frying, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a separate heavy-based frying pan. Roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess, then fry in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown all over.

7. Add the chicken pieces to the vegetables in the casserole then pour in the red wine and stock.

8. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and almost falling off the bone.

9. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, keeping warm. Pour the remaining sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving the vegetables and bacon in the sieve.

10. Pour the strained sauce back into the casserole dish and simmer vigorously over a medium-high heat for 15 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce that coats the back of a spoon.

11. Return the chicken pieces, vegetables and bacon to the reduced sauce and heat through. Keep warm over a low heat until ready to serve.

12. To finish the mashed potatoes, scoop the flesh out of the potatoes into a bowl and roughly mash.

13. Warm the butter and milk together in a small pan over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Pour onto the potatoes and mash together until smooth and glossy. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper and keep warm.

14. For the garnish: heat the oil and butter together in a frying pan. Tip in the mushrooms, baby leeks and bacon, season with black pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the mushrooms and leeks are tender.

15. To serve, spoon the mashed potato into the centre of 4 warm serving plates, arrange the coq au vin alongside and spoon over the garnish.

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