The Best Coq au Vin


The Best Coq au Vin
A delicious and rustic French classic!  Red wine, brandy, pancetta, shallots, mushrooms, herbs & a pinch of chilli what a wonderful combination for chicken!

Serves 4
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
50g butter
200g pancetta or smoked bacon, sliced
8 small shallots, peeled
250g button mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken thighs with bone, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 tbsp brandy
3 sprigs fresh thyme
250ml chicken stock
500ml hearty dry red wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
Crusty bread to serve

Method
1.    In a large frying pan or wok melt 25g of the butter and add the pancetta and fry until crisp and golden.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2.    Add the shallots to the pan and sauté until slightly browned, about 5 minutes and then add the mushrooms and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
3.    Now add the remaining 25g of butter and melt in the pan.  In batches add the chicken and cook on both sides until browned, about 10 minutes.  Return all the chicken to the pan and remove from the heat.  Add the brandy and flambé.  Remove the chicken from the pan.
4.    Add the thyme, stock, wine, tomato puree and chilli flakes to the pan and bring to the boil.  Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  During the last 10 minutes add the pancetta and vegetables.
5.    Remove the chicken, pancetta and vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and cover with foil.  Also remove the pan of broth from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
6.    In a small bowl mash the butter and flour together to make a buerre manié.  Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil.  Add ½ cup of the broth to the buerre manié and whisk together, now whisk into the rest of the broth.
7.    Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
8.    Season to taste and return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and coat with the sauce.  Serve with crusty bread.



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