The greatest coq au vin

A red wine marinade adds extra depth of flavour to a classic French dish in Paul Bloxham's splendid chicken casserole
By Paul Bloxham
The greatest coq au vin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight marination
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 1 chicken, large
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, thinly diced
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 leek, thinly diced
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 750 ml burgundy, or other red wine
  • 200 g sweet, dry-cure bacon bits
  • 100 g plain flour
  • black pepper
  • 24 shallots, peeled
  • 24 chestnut or button mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp Cognac or brandy
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • buttered mashed potato, to serve

To garnish:

  • croutons
  • parsley, chopped

Method

1. In a large bowl, place the chicken portions, garlic, carrot, celery, leek, thyme and Burgundy wine. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

3. In a large casserole dish, fry the bacon bits over medium heat until crisp.

4. Meanwhile, strain the chicken and vegetables, reserving the marinade.

5. Season the marinated chicken portions with salt and freshly ground pepper and coat in flour.

6. Add the chicken portions to the bacon in the casserole dish and fry until browned on all sides.

7. Add the reserved marinated vegetables, shallots and mushrooms. Fry until softened.

8. Remove the casserole dish from the heat, pour in the Cognac and return to the stove. The Cognac should flame in the casserole, cook until the flames die down.

9. Gradually stir in the reserved marinade and stock, then add the bay leaves.

10. Cover the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

11. Stir in the tomato and tarragon.

12. Garnish with croutons and parsley, and serve with creamy mashed potato.

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