How can anyone resist a dish with wine, lots of bacon, and extremely thick and rich gravy.
Coq au vin is a French classic prepared with chicken braised in wine, lardons and mushrooms. Traditionally, old rooster is used. It is cooked slowly in wine to soften the hard and stringy meat. Nowadays, chicken is more widely used. There are many variations of coq au vin and the most popular version is the one cooked with Burgandy wine or any other red wine. Other versions involve using white wine, Reisling or even champagne. Some say that white wine is best as it complements the flavour of the chicken rather than over-powering it. Can’t comment on this as I’ve never tried, but I guess the “white wine with white meat” rule applies.
- 1 kg chicken pieces
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 150 g bacon – coarsely chopped
- 1 tbs butter
- 8 shallots – peeled
- 3 cloves garlic – peeled, crushed
- 2 stalks celery – chopped
- 1 carrot – chopped
- 150 g closed cup mushrooms – halved
- 1 1/2 tbs plain flour
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tbs sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 handful parsley – coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine chicken, red wine, bay leave and thyme in a large bowl. Leave chicken to soak in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, remove the chicken pieces from the red wine mixture, dry the chicken pieces with kitchen towels.
- Heat up a bit of oil in a pot, place chicken skin side down and leave to brown. Flip and brown the other side as well. Do this in a few batches and do not overcrowd the pot. Leave browned chicken aside for later use.
- Discard the oil leaving just a bit behind in the pot, add bacon and fry until browned.
- Add in butter, followed by shallots and garlic, fry until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Mix in celery, carrots and mushrooms, fry for a few mins.
- Stir in plain flour. Mix well.
- Pour in brandy to deglaze the pan.
- Add red, wine mixture, chicken stock, tomato paste and chicken pieces. Bring to boil then lower heat to simmer for about 45 mins-1 hr or until chicken is tender.
- For a thicker sauce, remove the chicken pieces once cooked. Increase heat and cook the sauce for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced. Return the chicken back into the pot.
- Throw in a handful of coarsely chopped fresh parsley.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!