Coq au vin - a romantic dinner for two?

Coq au vin (or chicken in red wine) is a classic French recipe. But don't let that put you off having a go. Learning how to cook the classics can help you become a more confident cook.

There are two main aspects of this dish that make it successful. The first is that it needs long, slow cooking. It is also important to brown the onion, bacon and chicken. This way you end up with a rich and delicious sauce.

The quantities in this coq au vin recipe will serve 2, perhaps as part of a romantic dinner. Of course you can always double up if you have guests to feed.

Chicken portions on the bone, work better than boneless breasts here. Thighs are ideal.

You can cook this in a pan on the stove or in the oven. Your choice. But for your first attempt I would suggest using the oven, as it will need less attention. 

Plan ahead, and marinate the chicken in the red wine for 24 hours before cooking your meal.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 2 hrs 30 min

Total time: 2 hrs 45 min

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • onion - 1 (or 6 baby onions)
  • carrots - 4 small
  • unsmoked bacon - 3 thick rashers
  • garlic - 2 cloves
  • butter - 1oz or 25g
  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
  • flour - 1oz or 25g
  • chicken - 2 large qtrs or four thighs 
  • red wine - (French to be authentic) 8 fl oz or 250ml
  • chicken stock: 8 fl oz or 250ml
  • rosemary - 2 sprigs
  • bay leaves - 2
  • mushrooms - 6oz or 175g
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment needed

  • A heavy based pan
  • A slotted spoon
  • A sharp knife and chopping board
  • A flame proof casserole dish*
    *  ensure the dish is large enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer

Cooking your coq au vin

Turn the oven on at 170 degrees C to preheat.

  1. Peel and cut the large onion into chunks, or just peel the smaller ones. Peel the carrots and remove the stalk end. If the carrots are tiny leave them whole, otherwise cut into chunks. Peel and slice the garlic cloves.
  2. Cut the bacon into strips.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the onions, bacon and garlic. Fry until they are golden brown. Remove and place in the casserole dish.
  4.  Tip the flour onto a plate and add the salt and pepper to it. Dip the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour to coat them.   
  5. Place the chicken in the hot pan, skin side down. Leave it in that position until the skin is nice and browned.  Moving the chicken around would prevent it from browning.      
  6. Turn the chicken and brown the other side. Then lift the pieces out with the slotted spoon and also place in the casserole dish. Also, tuck the bay leaves and rosemary into the pan.
  7.  Add the red wine into the pan and heat gently. Stir frequently to amalgamate all the juices and fat from the pan. Then tip the contents of the pan onto the chicken in the casserole dish. 
  8. Add the stock, carrots and chopped mushrooms to the pan.  Cover the dish with a lid or aluminium foil and place in the oven..
  9. Cook for 2 hours, or until the chicken is done.
  10. Once cooked, carefully lift the chicken, and vegetables out of the dish.  Keep them warm. Meanwhile, remove the herbs and discard them. Place the dish onto the stove top and turn the heat up to high. Boil vigorously until the juice reduces by around 2/3 to concentrate the flavours.
  11. Place the chicken and vegetables on your serving plates and pour over the sauce. Serve your delicious coq au vin with either mashed potatoes or crusty french bread.






New! Comments

Did you enjoy this page? Leave me a comment in the box below.