2 Mar 2007


This recipe is by the wonderful Anne Willan, who runs her own cookery school in France and is also a prolific cookery writer. Her recipes are fabulous, it is worth looking out for her books and trying out some of her recipes.
Obviously, there are a lot of Coq au Vin recipes around and so we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing which one to cook. The chicken is marinated from 1-3 days and this in its own right makes this recipe a winner.


ISBN 0563488492 - PAGE 85

Serves: 4-6 people (can easily be scaled down)

Skill Level: Moderate

Taste Test: The chicken was succulent and the sauce was quite rich in flavour.

A must for this recipe is to use a decent bottle of red wine otherwise all of your hard work will just go to waste because the end result will be very disappointing.
I wouldn't season this dish with salt because there is enough in the bacon, otherwise it will be unbearable to eat.
I only marinated the chicken for one day because I didn't think about making it very far in advance. Next time I will try to be more organized and go for the three days marinading.
I cooked Delia's Coq au Vin last time, with good results, but I think this particular recipe is my favourite so far.

1 roasting chicken, 2.25kg/5lb, cut into 8 pieces, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 175g/6oz chopped rindless smoked bacon or lardons, 500ml/16fl oz chicken stock (plus more if needed), pepper, 2 shallots-chopped, 2 garlic cloves-chopped, bouquet garni (tied sprigs of bay leaves, thyme and parsley), 25g/1oz butter, 20 baby onions or small shallots-peeled, 250g/9oz button mushrooms-quartered, 1 tbsp chopped parsley.

Marinade: 1 onion-sliced, 1 carrot-sliced, 2 celery stalks-sliced, 1 garlic clove-peeled, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 75cl bottle of red wine, 2 tbsp olive oil.

Beurre Manie: 25g/1oz softened butter, 25g/1oz plain flour.

At least the day before make the marinade by combining all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let it cool completely.
Put the chicken in a deep non-metallic bowl, add the marinade and spoon the olive oil on top to keep the chicken moist. Cover and chill for 1-3 days, turning the pieces from time to time.
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade, reserving the vegetables separately.
Heat the vegetable oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the bacon until browned and the fat runs. Scoop out the bacon, leaving the fat. Add the chicken in batches, skin down. Brown well over a medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Turn, brown the other side and remove from the pan.
Add the reserved marinade vegetables to the casserole. Fry until starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. Pour in the marinade liquid, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stock, season (no salt) and then add the chopped shallots, garlic and bouquet garni. Add the chicken, pushing it into the sauce. Cover and simmer until the pieces feel tender when pierced with a fork, 45-60 minutes.
While that cooks, melt the 25g/1oz butter in a pan and add the baby onions. Brown for 5-7 minutes, shaking every so often. Remove and set aside. Add the mushrooms and fry until tender, 3-5 minutes. Set aside with the bacon.
To make the beurre manie, mash together the butter and flour with a fork.
When the chicken is cooked, strain the sauce and discard the vegetables. Wipe out the casserole, add the sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the beurre manie a little at a time, whisking thoroughly between each addition to prevent lumps. Add the onions and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until almost tender. Add the bacon and mushrooms, and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Replace the chicken and gently heat for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish or serve in the casserole, sprinkled with parsley.
Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles and a green vegetable.

Because I want to serve two people, I make the recipe as above, halve it and put the rest in the freezer for a rainy day!!

This recipe is fabulous and would be great for a dinner party or Sunday Dinner, as a change from your usual roast. I have made this for friends, much to their delight and they said the same again please!!!

It does take a while to make but is worth every last minute.

Kitchen Equipment Used: Meyer stainless steel casserole dish.