Coq Au Vin


Chicken, whole or parts 4 to 6 pounds
1 bottle of red wine
1 handful of bay leaves
1 to 2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 lb of bacon diced
4 oz (half a stick) of butter
1/2 lb of shallots (Substitute brown onions)
1/2 lb mushrooms (button or sliced)
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup Chicken stock
1/4 cup of brandy


    A day before you want to serve the dish, put the chicken in a large pot or bowl, if the chicken is whole, part it out, legs, thighs and breasts. Alternatively use ready butchered parts like thighs. Breasts have no flavour, but are popular. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Grind pepper over the chicken and add the wine to cover. For the best result, marinate for a day in a cool place, not the fridge. The chicken will not spoil.

    When ready to cook the dish, remove the chicken from the marinade, drain and pat dry. Keep the wine marinade. Dry the chicken as much as possible, using paper towels helps. The drier the chicken before cooking the better it will brown.

    In a large pot or saute pan, add the bacon and butter. Once it is sizzling add the shallots. Cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and more butter of needed. While cooking sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for five minutes.

    Drain and set aside. Best done with a slotted spoon, so leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.

    Turn up the heat in the saute pan and add the chicken, brown on all sides. If there is not enough room in the pan, brown in stages.

    Take the chicken out of the pan and throw the bandy in the pot and deglaze the pan. Then add a 1/4 cup of flour and stir, add a cup of chicken stock to make a sauce. Put the shallot and mushroom mixture in the sauce and then return the chicken to the pot. Add the wine marinade to the pot so the chicken is well covered.

    Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.

    If the sauce is not thick enough, remove some of the liquid and thicken with flour and add back to the sauce.