Recipe

Chicken cooked in wine

Cooked a day ahead, coq au vin is a brilliant and easy-to-make dish for serving a large group. With the flavours of wine, mushrooms, smoky bacon and thyme, the slow-cooked chicken is always succulent and juicy.

By Nici Wickes
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 25 g butter
  • 8-10 shallots, peeled
  • 100 g smoky bacon or lardons
  • 2 good quality chickens, portioned into 9 pieces
  • 400 g button mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 400 ml dry white wine
  • 250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • decent grind of pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • parsley, to serve

Method

  • 1
    Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the shallots and bacon until golden. Remove.
  • 2
    Brown the chicken in the pan fat. I sometimes use an additional pan simultaneously for efficiency's sake. Layer the pot with chicken, then shallots/bacon, more chicken, then more shallots. Add the mushrooms on top. Pour the wine over and simmer for 2-3 minutes to cook it off. Add in the stock until it almost covers the chicken. Tuck in the bay leaves and thyme, and season with pepper (I season with salt towards the end of cooking as sometimes stock can provide all the saltiness you need).
  • 3
    Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours over a low heat. Uncover and cool on your stove top before replacing the lid. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  • 4
    Reheat, slowly, 45 minutes before you're ready to eat. Make sure it comes to a steady simmer for at least 15 minutes. Season and add salt to taste. It's a personal choice of whether to thicken the gravy. I don't.
  • 5
    Serve from the saucepan and sprinkle with chopped parsley, making sure everyone gets a shallot, mushrooms and plenty of sauce.

Notes

During warmer months, I prefer to use a dry white wine as a lighter version of the original coq au vin, but in the heart of winter I revert to using a full-bodied red to suit the season.

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