Coq au vin

Coq au vinA French casserole originally made with a cockerel that was too old to perform its duties.

The cockerel by this time was usually tough and stringy so a slow braise in wine would help tenderise the meat and make it more edible.

To make the beurre marnie simply mix equal parts of plain flour and butter together until a smooth paste is formed.

COQ AU VIN
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

110 g rindless streaky bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces
75 g butter
4 large chicken portions, skinned
salt and black pepper to taste
100 ml brandy
600 ml red wine
300 – 400 ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, crushed
bouquet garni
1 tablespoon oil
8 shallots, peeled
50 g beurre marni
225 g button mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.

Melt 25 g of the butter in a large, heavy, flame proof casserole over a moderate heat.

Add the bacon and fry for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the chicken to the casserole and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side to brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the bacon to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Pour in the brandy. Ignite with a match and shake the casserole gently until the flames die away.

Add the wine and enough stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato puree, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer, cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions. In a large frying pan melt another 25 g of the butter. Add the onions and fry for 10 minutes, shaking the pan to brown them evenly.

Transfer to a baking dish with the fat from the pan, keeping the onions in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until just tender then add to the chicken and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken, bacon and onions from the pan and keep warm.

Skim off any fat from the surface of the casserole and boil the liquid rapidly to reduce to about 450 ml.

Check the seasoning and discard the bouquet garni.

Add the beurre marni, a little at a time, whisking continuously after each addition until the butter has melted and there are no lumps. Cook the sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes or until cooked.

Return the chicken, bacon and onions to the sauce with the mushrooms and heat thoroughly. Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve immediately.

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