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A nod to Coq au Vin

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A nod to Coq au Vin

With the nights drawing in and the weather starting to turn, it makes perfect sense to spend a little more time in the kitchen at this time of year, preparing warming and comforting stews, casseroles and braises to get us through the less clement weather. This recipe is somewhat of a cheat’s coq au vin. As a rule, coq au vin is made with whole shallots and mushrooms that are browned before being added to the stew. But this can be a tad labourious so I’ve gone for a slightly easier method for you here. My recipe calls for some chicken stock. Try to get the best you can get your hands on. I’d recommend using fresh stock that tends to be sold next to fresh meat in the supermarkets. Alternatively, you can find stock sold in plastic pouches in the gravy section of your supermarket. I prefer using these to the cubes and jellies because they have no added salt. However, if you can only get your hands on said cubes and jellies, then go easy on any additional salt you add; remember you can always add salt but you can never take it away. Serve the chicken and sauce with some mash or boiled potatoes and some greens of your choice. And, if you can’t eat the whole lot in one sitting, then it freezes well.



1 tbsp light olive oil
150g smoked lardons
1 kg chicken thighs (skin-on and bone in) and legs (ideally more thighs than legs)
1 onion, finely sliced
2 bay leaves (ideally fresh)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml red wine
250ml chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat a wide heavy based saucepan with the olive oil. Once hot, add the lardons. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat until all the fat has rendered and some of the edges have started to turn brown. Remove the lardons with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate for later.
  2. Now, in the same pan, lay the chicken thighs and legs skin-side down. Allow to fry on a medium heat for 7 minutes. You may well need to do this in 2 batches to avoid crowding the pan (too many pieces in the pan at once will create too much steam and the chicken won’t brown).
  3. Don’t be tempted to move the chicken around. Allow it to sit there and do its thing! As the skin begins to turn brown and caramelize, it will naturally release itself from the base of the pan. Once the skin side has browned, flip the pieces over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes. Transfer to the plate with your cooked lardons.
  4. Now add the sliced onion to the pan along with the bay leaves and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic to the pan and cooking for a further minute. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan and mix them through the onions, garlic and herbs.
  5. Now add the flour to the pan, mixing it well to ensure it is evenly distributed amongst the other ingredients in the pan. Once fully incorporated, add the red wine and stock. Bring to simmering point, season with salt and pepper and then return the cooked lardons and browned chicken to the pan.
  6. Bring back to simmering point and cook, with the lid off, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of single cream and is rich and delicious and the chicken is tender. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley

You can join Alan for his next One Pot Cooking class on Saturday 17th November: book here!

Author: Alan Rosenthal


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