Coq au Vin, like Boeuf Bourguignon, has been one of those dishes that I’ve been dying to make. Just the name conjures up images of the beautiful French country side, a mother lovingly chopping, sauteing and cooking a big pot of stew for her family. The whole family coming together and dunking crusty pieces of Baguette into all the rich, wine-flavoured juices.
Of course, the picture back at home is a little bit different. Not only don’t I stay in the beautiful French country side but I also don’t have time to marinade the chicken for at least 24 hours, then brown it before adding back the marinade, frying the mushrooms, bacon and onions all seperately…oi vey, just typing it makes me tired. So this is MY Coq au Vin which I’ve simplified a whole lot!
Nothing is as satisfying as your whole family raving about something you’ve cooked and although no-one could pronounce it (except for me, after which my brother very quickly said “Coq what?”) and called it “chicken stew with rice”, it really was a hit and with it being so simple, I’ll definitely make it again.
Enough for 6-8
2kg Chicken pieces (I used skinless, boneless Chicken thighs)
250g Bacon, chopped
2 Onions, finely chopped
4 Garlic cloves, finely sliced
3 Large Carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
500g Mushrooms, halved (I used Portabellini)
3 Bay Leaves
Pinch of Oregano
2 cups Strong Bodied Red wine (I used a Shiraz)
2 cups Chicken Stock (In some recipes Veal stock is used)
2tbsn Red Wine Vinegar
- In a large pot, fry the bacon in a bit of olive oil until crispy. Remove and set aside. Brown the chicken in batches and also set aside. Fry the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and herbs until starting to soften.
- Add the mushrooms and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and bacon back and pour in the wine, chicken stock, vinegar and sugar.
- Reduce the heat, place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer gently for about an hour.
- After an hour, check that all the vegetables are cooked and the chicken is nice and tender. Check the seasoning and adjust and if the sauce seems a bit thin, mix 2tsp cornflour with 2tsp cold water and stir into the pot when the stew is simmering rapidly.
- Serve with steamed rice/ crusty bread and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.