Coq au vin á la Sylvie

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P1070301Last week the weather was sunny and warm enough so I decided to invite some friends to celebrate the spring with a French classic, the Coq au vin! The recipe comes from my auntie, Sylvie who is from Paris and by the way she is the best cook ever! As side dish I offered pasta! With red wine it was a big hit!

Here is the recipe

Ingredients: 1½ tbsp olive oil, 3 rashers (100g) dry-cured, smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped, 12 small shallots, 2 free-range chicken leg (460g), skin removed, 4 free-range chicken thigh with bone and skin (650g), skin removed, 2 free-range, skinless, boneless chicken breast (280g, 3 garlic clove, finely chopped, 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac, 600ml red wine, 150ml good-quality chicken stock, 2 tsp tomato purée, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves, to make a bouquet garni, small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

For the mushrooms: 11/2 olive oil, 250g chestnut mushroom, halved if large

for the thickener: 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 1½ tsp olive oil, 1 tsp softened butter


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof dish. Tip in the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Add the shallots to the pan and fry, stirring or shaking the pan often, for 5-8 minutes until well browned all over. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry with kitchen paper. Pour the remaining oil into the pan, then fry half the chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 5-8 minutes until well browned. Remove, then repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove and set aside.
  3. Scatter in the garlic and fry briefly, then, with the heat medium-high, pour in the brandy or Cognac, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.
  4. Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pan along with any juices, then pour in a little of the wine, stirring the bottom of the pan again. Stir in the rest of the wine, the stock and tomato purée, drop in the bouquet garni, season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then return the bacon and shallots to the pan. Cover, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add the chicken breasts and cook for 50 mins-1hr.
  5. Just before ready to serve, heat the oil for the mushrooms in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for a few minutes until golden. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Lift the chicken, shallots and bacon from the pan and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni. To make the thickener, mix the flour, olive oil and butter in a small bowl using the back of a teaspoon. Bring the wine mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually drop in small pieces of the thickener, whisking each piece in using a wire whisk. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Scatter the mushrooms over the chicken, then pour over the wine sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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