October 13th, 2017
This Coq au Vin recipe totally wraps its arms around you after a day in the garden sweeping the Autumnal leaves!

Classic Coq au Vin


1 whole large free-range or corn-fed chicken (around 1.5kg), cut into 8 portions, or 8 chicken thighs

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

200g button mushrooms, halved

200g shallots, peeled

6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

200g pancetta, cut into 1cm cubes

3 tablespoons plain flour

500ml chicken stock

20g butter

2 thick slices of white bread, cut into 1cm cubes

1 tablespoon sea salt

¼ bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the marinade

1 bottle medium bodied red wine

125ml brandy

1 onion, chopped

1 large carrot, cut in to 1cm rounds

1 large leek, cut in to 1cm rounds

3 bay leaves

2 sprigs of fresh thyme


Place all marinade ingredients in a large bowl or saucepan.

Add the chicken portions, making sure they are submerged in the marinade. Cover with Clingfilm  and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Next day, strain the chicken through a colander, keeping the marinade (the liquid and the vegetables) to one side.

Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a large flameproof casserole and place over a high heat until smoking. Carefully add all the chicken, season and seal until golden brown, then carefully remove and keep to one side.

Place the casserole pan back over a high heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil, the chopped onion, carrot and leek from the marinade, and the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and pancetta. Sweat for around 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour, then add the chicken stock and remaining marinade with the thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, add the chicken, then simmer for 45minutes until the liquid had reduced by around one-third (this should give you the correct consistency). Season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3.

Cover the casserole with a tightly fitting lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook slowly for 1 ½ hours.

Before serving, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and the butter and allow to froth. Add the cubed bread and toss until golden brown, then add the sea salt and parsley. Spoon the croutons over the top of your bubbling chicken. Serve with mustard mashed potato.