French Coq au Vin (Chicken in a red wine stew)

This is a French classic, and easy to make! A good one to make in advance too as the flavours develop if you make it ahead . Very tasty and the meat is so tender it just falls off the bone….

Ingredients: For 4 people

  • 1 chicken jointed into pieces, or I buy 1 kg free range chicken thighs and drumsticks as it is very handy.
  • 150 g smoked bacon lardons (or pancetta works too)
  • 3 onions chopped into quarters, then half again length wise
  • 2 sticks celery chopped into 3 cm lengths
  • Upto 50 g plain flour seasoned with pepper
  • 500 ml red wine
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 200 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, slightly flattened with the back of a heavy knife
  • 250 g mushrooms, quartered.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sunflower oil
  • Butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

For the beurre manie:

  • 25 g soft butter mixed with 2 tablespoons plain flour

Method:

1. As always when cooking meat, get the chicken out of the fridge half an hour to an hour prior to cooking and unwrap it so it gets to room temperature or it will be tough.

2. Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil and a small of knob of butter in a casserole dish. Fry off the bacon lardons until browned. Remove to a plate then fry off the onion pieces in the casserole dish until slightly coloured. Put the bacon lardons back in the casserole dish with the onion pieces and put on a low heat.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 120 C. Lightly toss the chicken pieces in some plain flour seasoned with some ground pepper. Shake off the excess flour, and crisp off the chicken pieces in a hot frying pan in a little sunflower oil. Transfer to the casserole dish along with 500 ml red wine, 500 ml chicken stock, 200 g tinned chopped tomatoes, the celery, flattened garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover.

4. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 h 30 minutes.

5. While the casserole is in the oven gently sweat the quartered mushrooms in a frying pan in a small amount of butter until they release their juices, and add to the casserole 10 minutes before the end of cooking. At this stage you can keep the casserole aside or leave overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop.

6. Approximately 10-15 minutes prior to serving, skim any fat off the surface of the casserole and strain the liquid from the casserole into a pan. Keep the chicken pieces and vegetables aside in a dish. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil and whisk in the beurre manie to enrich it and thicken it up slightly.

7.Transfer the chicken pieces and vegetables back into the sauce to heat though and serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley, alongside some green vegetables, and some mashed or boiled potatoes.

8. Enjoy 🙂

Hope you enjoy making this! Leave me a comment if you give it a try. Thank you for reading 🙂

Published by Laura

Born in France to English parents, but living in Scotland for the past 20 years now. Passionate about cooking and tasty simple food.

One thought on “French Coq au Vin (Chicken in a red wine stew)

  1. There’s no recipe tastier than a good coq au vin ! And made with a real cockerel it is magic; the taste is sublime. Personally, I don’t add tomatoes. Traditionally blood was used to thicken the sauce but today that is impossible.My butcher always tells me to add a piece of 80-90% cocoa dark chocolate instead of a beurre manié to give the sauce silky thickness, a practice also employed by many French chefs. You can’t taste the chocolate as the sugar content is minimal.

    Liked by 1 person

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