This week’s recipe is another French beaut, coq au vin, which is simply chicken (coq = cockerel) braised with red wine, smoked lardoons and vegetables. Ideally do the first ½ of the cook, leave overnight to soak up the flavours, then finish the next day before dishing up. You can play around with the plonk too, swapping the traditional burgundy for other grape varieties or a dry cider. If you’re feeling really fancy throw in some fizz for the so-called coq au champagne!
- 1 Free-range chicken
- Smoked lardoons
- 1 Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 Carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 16 Button mushrooms
- 16 Baby shallots (instead of pearl onions)
- Bouquet garni (thyme, parsley stalks, 2 bay leaves)
- Small bunch of Parsley & chives for garnish
- 1 bottle of red wine
What to do
- Begin by parting your chicken, removing the breasts legs and thighs. Keep the carcass for the stock.
- Marinate the chicken and carcass by covering with the wine and adding the carrots, celery, crushed garlic and onions as well as the bouquet garni. Place in a bowl and leave in the fridge for a few hours or over night.
- Once marinated remove the chicken from the wine and separate the vegetables from the wine.
- In a large casserole gently sweat the vegetables in butter for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat up and add the wine, reducing it slightly to cook out the alcohol.
- In a non-stick pan, season both sides of the chicken breasts, legs and thighs and sauté to a golden brown in a little butter and vegetable oil. The vegetable oil will stop the butter from burning. You can also colour the carcass and add it to the casserol to give the sauce more flavour.
- Once coloured add the chicken to the casserole and cover with chicken stock or water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Skim the surface of the sauce with a ladle to remove any fat.
- Meanwhile cut and sauté the lardoons and button mushrooms and peel the shallots, boiling them in salted water till soft and sautéing them gently in butter to a golden brown.
- Finely cut the herbs and set to on side.
- After an hour of cooking remove the chicken from the sauce and turn up the heat to reduce and thicken the sauce, you can finish the sauce off with a little more red wine for an additional bit of flavour.
- Once you’ve got the right thickness you can pop the chicken back in discarding the carcass. Allow the chicken to warm through then reheat the lardoons, mushrooms and shallots in a pan. Scatter over the chicken as well as the finely cut herbs.