This classic French braised chicken dish is simply brimming with wonderful rich flavours – smoky bacon, wine, garlic and brandy! It’s the perfect choice for a warming winter supper dish and simply needs serving with steamed greens such as broccoli or French beans or creamy mashed potato. Choose a good quality full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy for the best flavour.
- 4 chicken breast quarters
- 2tbsp seasoned flour
- 25g butter
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 175g thick-cut smoked bacon rashers, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 300g button onions or shallots, peeled
- 4tbsp brandy
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 bouquet garni
- 200g mushrooms, halved
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Coat each chicken quarter with seasoned flour. Heat half the butter and the olive oil in a large deep flameproof casserole and fry the chicken over a high heat for 6-7 mins until browned all over. Remove and set aside.
Add the bacon, garlic and onions or shallots to the casserole and fry for 3-4 mins. Return the chicken to the casserole. Pour in the brandy and cook for 1 minute then add the red wine and bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cover and simmer very gently for 50 mins.
Heat the remaining butter in a small frying pan and fry the mushrooms until golden. Stir into the casserole and cover and simmer for a further 15-20 mins until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken quarters from the casserole and cover and keep warm. Turn the heat up and boil the sauce for 4-5 mins until slightly thickened and glossy. Return the chicken to the sauce. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.
Top tip for making Coq au Vin
To make a home-made bouquet garni use fine string to tie together a celery stalk and bay leaf with a couple of sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme.