Coq au Vin
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After the hour’s up, take the lid off the casserole and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
- 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.
- 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