My step-father’s tasty coq

We were in Oxford at the weekend and my step-father cooked a coq au vin; It rivaled even [link2post id=”1160″]La Ferme de la Ruchotte’s[/link2post] effort. So I stole the recipe. You will need:

The very best chicken you can find that weighs about 1kg, get your butcher to joint it into twelve pieces
500ml red wine
1tablespoon olive oil
150g thick-cut bacon, cubed
15 small shallots, peeled
200g button mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
300ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat. For a really rich flavour, marinate the chicken pieces in the wine over-night. The next day pour off the marinade (keep it to cook with) and dry the chicken well with Kitchen paper to make frying easier.

Heat the oven to 180°C. Put the olive oil and bacon in a large ovenproof casserole dish and cook over a medium heat for three minutes. Add the whole shallots and cook for a further six minutes until browned, then add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another two minutes, stirring well. Remove the ingredients from the pan and keep them. Place the chicken in the casserole and cook until golden and sealed all over – do this in batches to get a good, even colour, Set the browned chicken to one side.

Reduce the heat. Slowly add the red wine (or marinade) and the chicken stock and bring to boil. Return the chicken, vegetables, and bacon to the casserole, along with the bay leaves, thyme and seasoning. Cover and cook in the oven for 35 minutes.

Whilst my step-father’s coq is good as soon as it is ready, it really improves if you cover it up and come back to it the next day. Just warm it through and the flavours will be even more intense.