Coq au vin

Rachel Allen's version of a classic French dish comes laced with red wine and Cognac and tastes even better reheated the next day
By Rachel Allen
Coq au vin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g streaky bacon, in the piece, or 4 rashers, diced into 2cm pieces
  • 1 large chicken, jointed into 8'10 pieces
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 x 750 ml bottle red wine
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme, leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • 250 g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 500g approx. carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 24 baby onions

Tips and Suggestions

Method

1. Place a large casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan on a medium heat, pour in the olive oil, add the bacon and cook for 3'5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the dish and set aside, leaving any bacon fat in the pot.

2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then toss them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add half the butter to the casserole dish or saucepan, brown the chicken a few pieces at a time for 2'3 minutes on each side, then remove from the pot and set aside. Deglaze the dish or pan by adding the wine, brandy, thyme, bay leaf and garlic, then boil, uncovered, for 10'15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

3. Meanwhile, place a frying pan on a high heat and add the remaining butter. When it has melted, tip in the mushrooms, season and cook for 4'6 minutes, tossing frequently, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Place the chicken pieces, bacon and mushrooms in the casserole dish or saucepan, add the carrots and the onions, then cover the dish or pan with a lid and gently simmer for 30'45 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Alternatively, cook in the oven, preheated to 150C/gas 2, for the same length of time.

5. If there is fat on the surface of the casserole, pour the rich juices into a bowl or jug to degrease them, leaving the meat and vegetables in the pot. Gently reheat the juices in a saucepan, then pour back over the chicken and serve from the pot.

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