Perfect coq au vin
- February 2021
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 60-75
Recipe writer Alex Hollywood’s movie star grandmother entertained lavishly in Paris in her heyday. This is her recipe for traditional French coq au vin.
Alex says: “This is my grandmother’s recipe for coq au vin. Whenever I make this, it takes me straight back to her kitchen in her home on the Champs Elysées in Paris. The dish’s simplicity is its beauty, but don’t stint on the ingredients – especially the burgundy, as its quality will shine through.”
Find more one-pot dishes here, including chicken casserole, pot-roast chicken and chicken tagine.
- 17.2g (5.1g saturated)
- 6.6g (2g sugars)
- 1.5kg free-range chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 200g smoked lardons
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 12 shallots, peeled
- 2-3 tbsp cognac
- 750ml bottle good red burgundy
- 1 bouquet garni (see tips)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp cornflour (see tips)
- Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
- Buttery baked potatoes or mash, crème fraîche and dressed baby salad leaves to serve
You’ll also need
- Large hob-proof casserole/ovenproof pan with a lid
- Long cooks’ matches or a lighter to flambé
- Cut the chicken into 4-6 large pieces (or ask your butcher to do this for you). Heat the oil and butter in the casserole/pan and brown the chicken all over, working in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the lardons until crisp, then add the mushrooms and shallots and cook until lightly coloured. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, then remove it from the heat, pour in the cognac and flambé to burn off the alcohol (see tips).
- Return the pan to the heat, pour in the red wine, add the bouquet garni and garlic, then season well with salt and pepper. Add a little water to the cornflour (see Make Ahead) to make a loose paste, then stir it into the sauce in the pan, making sure there are no lumps.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Bring the stew to the boil, then put on the lid and transfer to the oven for 60-75 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- When ready to serve, remove the bouquet garni, season the stew to taste and scatter over fresh parsley. Serve with baked potatoes or mash, crème fraîche and dressed baby salad leaves.
You can buy ready-made bouquet garni or make your own: gather 2 bay leaves, a sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary, and some parsley stalks, then tie them together with kitchen string.
Be very careful when you flambé the stew – remove the pan from the heat to add the cognac and light it, then return the pan to the heat to continue cooking.
Make up to 1-2 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge. Reheat on the hob until piping hot to serve. You can freeze the cooked dish – if you intend to, swap the cornflour for plain flour, which is more stable for freezing, and add to the pan with the shallots.
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