Coq au vin

Coq au vin

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

The classic recipes of the 1970s are back in fashion, and one of my favourites is coq au vin. Basically, it’s chicken cooked in red wine with bacon, shallots and mushrooms. It’s perfect served with a nice creamy mash, green beans and spinach.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.8kg chicken, skin removed
or 8 chicken thighs, skin removed
4 springs thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
250g streaky bacon, cut into large squares
1 bulb garlic, peeled
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
20g butter
150g field mushrooms, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
300g thai pink shallots, peeled
1 level tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon dried porcini mushroom powder
400ml gamay or pinot noir
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve


  1. If you’re using a whole chicken, you need to joint it for sautéing. First remove the legs, cutting down through the skin between the legs and the main body of the chicken. Pull the legs outwards to pop the hipbones, then use the knife to separate each leg completely. Chop off the top knuckle where the feet would have been – this is called French trimming – then cut the legs in half at the joint between the thigh and the drumstick.
  2. Next, use a large chopping knife to cut the ribcage section of the chicken away from the breast, leaving you with the two breasts still on the bone. Remove the wings at the first joint from the breast. Turn the breast over so the bones are facing upwards, and cut it in half along the breastbones. Cut these two sections in half. Finally, remove the skin from the chicken joints.
  3. Place the jointed chicken in a large dish and combine with the sprigs of thyme, bacon, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Lightly season with salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low–medium heat. Add the chicken mixture and brown. Don’t allow the saucepan to get too hot; it’s better to cook the ingredients slowly. When the chicken begin to colour and the bacon starts to crisp, remove all the ingredients and reserve.
  5. Add the butter, mushrooms, shallots and 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, slowly cooking until soft. Return the chicken mixture to the saucepan and stir. Add the flour and mushroom powder and cook for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a very gentle simmer. Cover and leave to cook for 45 minutes. (If you prefer, cook the casserole in a preheated 170°C oven for 45 minutes.)
  6. Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to stand for about 10 minutes. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning if necessary, then sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
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