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Coq au Vin | Chicken in Red Wine

Introduction & method

Traditionally, in France, coq au vin would be made with a tough old rooster cooked in the cheapest local wine. Since the 70s, when it started appearing in restaurants outside France, it has become a bit more refined but it's still really easy to make, delicious and warming.

Coq au Vin | Chicken in Red Wine Recipe

Prep the Meat and Vegetables

If you have a whole chicken, remove the breasts and the legs. Cut the breasts in half, and separate the legs into thighs and drumsticks. If your bacon is in one piece, cut it into dice about 1cm (just under half an inch).
If you have pearl onions, cut the feathery bits off each end and plunge the onions into boiling water. Let them sit there for a minute, and then rub the skin off with your thumb. If using regular onions or shallots, top, tail, peel and dice them. Slice the carrot. Rinse the mushrooms. If they are small button mushrooms, leave them whole. If they are bigger, remove the stalks and quarter the caps.

Start the Sauce

Mix together 2 tbsps flour with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Coat each piece of chicken in this mixture. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil on medium heat. Add the lardons or bacon and get them lightly browned all over. Remove them from the pan but leave the oil/fat behind. You might need to add more oil. Now put the chicken pieces in and sauté them until the skin is golden and crispy. You might need to do this in batches. Remove the chicken and add the onion, mushrooms and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and the tomato puree and cook those for about a minute. Sift in the flour - add a bit, stir it in until no longer visible, repeat. Now start adding the wine a bit at a time. When the wine is all in, add the stock, half of the lardons/bacon and the herbs and cook vigorously for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the sauce.

Finish the Coq au Vin

If you're using a cast-iron pot or a saucepan that you can trust food not to stick to during a long cook, put the lid on and continue cooking on the stovetop for about an hour. If you prefer to do it in the oven get it heated to 200°C (392°F) fan/convection, 220°C (428°F) conventional, gas 7. Transfer the sauce to a casserole dish, place the chicken pieces on top, put a lid in and cook for 30 minutes. The chicken should be cooked after this time - check it with a thermometer, it should be 74°C (165°F). 

Turn on the grill/broiler. Remove the lid from the casserole or frying pan. Sprinkle the remaining bacon/lardons on top and cook for about 10 minutes. 

Serve with potatoes, rice or pasta.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Coq au Vin | Chicken in Red Wine on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 1 whole chicken (or 2 chicken breasts and 2 legs)
 1 medium onion
 1 carrot
 4 cloves garlic
 1 bottle red wine
 200 grams unsmoked, unsliced bacon or lardons
 a handful of small button mushrooms
 125 ml chicken or beef stock
 1 tbsp tomato puree
 small handful flatleaf parsley
 3-4 sprigs of thymes
 2-3 bay leaves
 2 tbsp plain white (AP) flour
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp salt


Olive oil for sautéeing.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.