Winter Warmer – Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Another winter warmer recipe for these cold nights as winter approaches.

Coq au Vin

Various legends trace Coq au Vin to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century; it is generally accepted that it existed as a rustic peasant dish long before that. Originally a male bird is used and the slow cooking process tenderises the meat perfectly. You can use chicken if you cant find a rooster.


Ideally try and get a rooster from your butcher, but if you can’t then or 1 or 2 chickens (1.5kg, 3.5 lb), cut into 8 pieces or more will do just as well.
1/2 bottle of full-body Burgundy red wine or Cotes du Rhone
Bacon lardons (5 oz), diced
250g button mushrooms
A dozen small white onions
2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 carrots, peeled and quartered
Sunflower oil, unsalted butter
Bouquet of herbs: 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf, tied all together with string
Salt and pepper
25mls of Brandy


1 A day in advance, clean and cut the rooster/chicken in 8 pieces or more. Pour half a bottle of red Burgundy wine over the meat. A large freezer zip lock bag is good for this or a large pan will do just as well.
2 Add the small white onions, the quartered peeled carrots and the herbs. Place in the fridge.
3 The next day, remove and drain the chicken and vegetables. Put the wine aside for later use.
4 Brown the chicken pieces with oil and butter in a skillet or frying pan. Remove the chicken. Using the same skillet, add garlic to the vegetables and heat for a couple of minutes
5 Put the chicken, garlic and the vegetables in a large sauce pan, add the Brandy and flame. Cook for 1 minute.
6 Pour the wine and add salt and plenty of grounded black pepper.
7 Bring to a boil on a medium heat.
8 Cover and cook at low heat for 2 hours. This should be a very slow rolling simmer.
9 Heat the bacon lardons, onion and mushrooms in a skillet of frying pan until brown, this should take 5 -10 minutes.
10 When the chicken and vegetables have cooked for 2 hours, add the bacon lardons, onion and mushrooms in the pan, cook and stir for 2 or 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning,
11 Add the parsley to the chicken when finish. Prepare rice or potatoes to serve with the Coq au Vin.


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