Coq au Vin

A filling, simple and delicious dish that is just perfect to warm up with after a chilly January day!

Partner with French Connection’s (no, not the high street chain) Costières de Nîmes Rouge – a medium-bodied blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Carignan. With a subtle hint of spice and rounded blackberry flavours, this wine is perfect with casseroles and stews. Available for just under £6 in Tesco, make sure you pick up two bottles as you’ll polish off two thirds of one to make the Coq au Vin!

Ingredients (serves 4 hungry people)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon, finely chopped
2 chicken legs, skinless
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless*
8 shallots or baby onions
250g mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500ml red wine
150ml chicken stock
2 tbsp brandy or balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp water
4 medium potatoes
2 tbsp milk
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper

*you can stick with one cut of chicken if you prefer – I’d go for legs if I had to choose!

Method
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, deep frying pan (a wok is fine) and add the bacon. Fry until starting to go crispy. Remove from the pan and place to one side
2. Cook the shallots for 10 minutes or until starting to soften. Remove from the pan and place to one side with the bacon
3. Heat another tbsp olive oil in the pan and add the chicken legs. Cook for around 5-10 minutes until seared all over and starting to brown. Remove from the pan and place to one side. Repeat with the breasts and thighs but don’t add anymore oil
4. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour in the brandy or balsamic vinegar and add the crushed garlic and herbs. Cook for 1-2 minutes on a gentle heat
5. Put the chicken, bacon and shallots back into the pan and add the red wine and chicken stock
6. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes – 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through
7. In the meantime, you can prepare the mashed potatoes – wash and peel the spuds, cut into equal sized chunks, boil for around 10 minutes until soft, add half of the butter, milk, salt and pepper and mash to whatever consistency you like
8. In a small saucepan, heat the rest of the butter and add the mushrooms. Cook on a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes and then add to the pan with the chicken
9. When the chicken is cooked through, in a separate cup, blend the cornflour and water to make a thick paste. Add this to the chicken dish to thicken the sauce
10. Serve with the mashed potatoes, some green veg (peas, green beans etc) and a large glass of red wine

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