Cookbook:Coq au vin

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Coq au vin ("cock in wine") is a French dish, in which a capon or chicken is stewed in a red wine sauce.


  • 1 free range chicken, jointed (or drumsticks, thighs, breasts); get the giblets, and the blood if you can; season beforehand; marrow is important.
  • 1 bottle red burgundy (or côte du Rhône/Morgon)
  • 8 thick slices pancetta, cut into strips less than width of little finger
  • 1 strip of porkbelly fat
  • 250g button mushrooms, whole
  • selection of wild mushrooms, sliced - dried is OK (use the soaking liquor)
  • 2 large onions, one for the stock, the other roughly chopped
  • 12 small pickling onions (fresh, not pickled), peeled and whole
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly diced
  • 4 carrots, cut in thick lengths
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed, leaving one sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground asafoetida
  • 5 sprigs thyme (2 tsps) & 5 bay leaves
  • butter, salt, black pepper, parsley
  • 2 measures of brandy


Wide skillet, deep pyrex bowl with lid, and jug.


  1. For chicken stock, sear the giblets in a bit of oil in a pan, and simmer in water with an onion, a carrot and some peppercorns. For the vegetable stock, make up a cupful with Vegcon, just salty (can act as the entire stock - make 1/2 pint).
  2. In the skillet, fry pancetta and porkbelly fat with butter till golden brown. Remove pancetta.
  3. To the skillet, add the seasoned chicken pieces skin side down and fry until honey-coloured, then turn. This is vital for the flavour; the skillet must be left sticky. There won't be enough room to do it in one go, so take it in turns. Remove, leaving the porkbelly behind, snipped into pieces. (If you're doing breasts off the bone, sear on skin side only and do not put back into the dish until the oven stage - otherwise they will toughen up.)
  4. To the skillet add the chopped onion and the button mushrooms; fry for 5 mins, then add the sliced garlic and immediately flame off one of the measures of brandy.
  5. To the skillet add the chicken pieces and pancetta, then pour over all the wine and the chicken & veg stocks. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and, adding the crushed garlic and herbs, simmer for 45 mins. Turn the chicken pieces twice. Remove the chicken pieces to the pyrex lid and pour the skillet sauce into the jug; put the jug in the freezer for 30 mins and then remove the fat. At this stage, it is recommended that you refrigerate the whole dish overnight.
  6. In the skillet, add some butter along with the wild mushrooms; then pickling onions, carrots and celery; fry till mushrooms brown. Stir in the asafoetida and flame off the second measure of brandy.
  7. Add the jug ingredients to the skillet sauce, along with another crushed clove of garlic, and push the veg to the edge of the skillet; reduce the sauce in the skillet until glossy (may need flour stirred in - but it shouldn't be thick): 15 mins.
  8. Pour half the sauce into the pyrex bowl, then place the chicken pieces in, and pour the rest of the sauce on top; put the covered pyrex bowl in an oven on 170 C for 90 mins.
  9. Sprinkle parsley over each portion, and serve with asparagus/green beans, and steamed potatoes/flat noodles/rice/orzo/colcannon.

This is a difficult dish, but you've got to try it. The asafoetida is a novelty, but it does add pungency.