Simple Coq au Vin

It’s old-fashioned but it’s wet & windy and this went down a treat tonight. Easy, warming, delicious. Would feed about 4 hungry adults – 1 adult and 2 children failed to eat half of this, the left-overs are a freezer treat to come.

  • 1 medium or small chicken
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine
  • 1 onion
  • 3 miserable carrots, chopped chunkily
  • a few manky bits of limp celery
  • 1 chicken stock cube or stockpot
  • some sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves – if you have three leaves left
  • a few chunks of celeriac (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt’n'pepa (push it)
  • 100g lardons/pancetta/bacon
  • 1 fat clove garlic

Put the oven on around 170C. In a casserole with a sploosh of olive oil fry the bacon chunks with the onion, carrots, celery, cleriac until soft. Remove them from the casserole and then brown the whole chicken (seasoned with salt’n'pepa mmm baby baby) all over. Remove the chicken and put the other ingredients back in the dish. Add the flour and stir as you gradually add the brandy, stock cube and the wine. A whole bottle. Do it. You will thank me.

When your mix is bubbling and getting a bit thick, chuck the chicken back in with the bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook in the oven for an hour or two, turning the carcass twice during the process.

Remove the chicken and reduce the sauce on the hob for 10 minutes or so. Pull the chicken apart and serve with lashings of the rich red wine sauce, vegetables – and I made some small rosemary roast potatoes to go with this, which absorbed that delicious red wine sauce just beautfully.

Nigel Slater: you showed me what to do. You showed me what to do…



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