- 3 tblsp olive oil
- 150 g streaky bacon in the piece (or 4 rashers, cut into 2cm (3/4 in) dice)
- 1 large chicken (jointed into 8-10 pieces)
- salt and ground black pepper
- 4 tblsp plain flour
- 25 g butter
- 750 ml bottle of red wine
- 3 tblsp brandy
- 1 tblsp chopped thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed or finely grated)
- 250 g button mushrooms (quartered)
- 500 g carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 24 baby onions
- large casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan with a lid
- Classic French bistro fare, coq au vin - a rich stew laced with red wine and Cognac - is traditionally made with a cockerel, although these days a (female) chicken is more usual. Like most stews, this can be made in advance and will taste even better reheated the next day.
- Place a large casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan on a medium heat, pour in the olive oil, add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the dish and set aside, leaving any bacon fat in the pot.
- Next season the chicken pieces and toss them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add half the butter to the casserole dish or saucepan, then brown the chicken a few pieces at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side, remove from the pot and set aside.
- Deglaze the dish or pan by adding the wine, brandy, thyme, bay leaf and garlic, then boil, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, place a frying pan on a high heat and add the remaining butter. When it has melted, tip in the mushrooms, season and cook for 4-6 minutes, tossing frequently, until golden brown, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the chicken pieces, bacon and mushrooms in the casserole dish or saucepan, add the carrots and the onions, then cover the dish or pan with a lid and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the juices should run clear if the meat is pierced with a skewer. Alternatively, cook in the oven, pre-heated to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2), for the same length of time.
- If there is fat on the surface of the casserole, pour the rich juices into a bowl or jug to degrease them, leaving the meat and vegetables in the pot. Gently reheat the juices in a saucepan, then pour back over the chicken and serve from the pot, or in warmed bowls or plates.
This recipe and many more are available in Rachel's book, 'Rachel Allen: Entertaining at Home', published by Harper Collins.