With a Simon Gault spin, let’s get started with the classic French dish, Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Serves 6


  • 1 whole chicken (1.5-2kg), cut into pieces
  • 3 cups of red Burgundy wine
  • 1 cup of Cognac or brandy
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Herbs: 2 sprigs of thyme, & or rosemary, parsley stems, and bay leaf
  • 250g (about 1/2 pound) lardons or thick-cut bacon, cut into chunks
  • 250g (about 1/2 pound) button mushrooms, quartered
  • 12 pearl onions, peeled (I used a jar of Cipollini onions)
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil or butter for frying


  1. The night before, it’s time to let the chicken have a little party in the fridge. Get your chicken pieces, wine, cognac or brandy, onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs, and put them together in a large bowl. Lid on and into the fridge they go. Let them mingle overnight.
  2. Daylight comes, and it’s time to get cooking. Drain the chicken, keeping hold of that marinade – it’s liquid gold. Pat the chicken dry and give it a decent seasoning of salt and pepper.
  3. Fire up the stove, a good dollop of oil or a knob of butter in your casserole or Dutch oven. Now, in with your lardons. Cook them until they’re just crispy. Whip them out and set them aside.
  4. Same pan, no cleaning necessary, that’s where the flavour is! Ensure you have about 4 tablespoons of fat from the lardons, if necessary add extra olive oil.
  5. Now, for the magic. In goes your flour into the pan. Stir it around for 1 – 2 minutes. Gradually add the marinade, stirring all the time until you’ve got a sauce that’s starting to thicken.
  6. Time to reunite the band. Chicken, lardons, mushrooms and onions all go into the pan. Let it come to a simmer, then down with the heat, lid on, and let it gently bubble away for 60 minutes. Remember to give it a turn at the halfway mark.
  7. After the hour’s up, take the lid off the casserole and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
  8. Almost there. Just before you’re ready to serve, skim off any fat that’s floating about on top and get rid of the herbs.
  9. Last but not least, get a spoon and have a taste. It might need a bit of salt or a twist of pepper. Adjust it until it tastes just right for you.

And there you have it! A classic Coq au Vin, ready to be served with some crusty bread or potatoes.

Bon appétit, my friends

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