Coq au vin is just the french way of saying chicken cooked in wine. This is normally red wine, which gives a very dark rich casserole. It is not a difficult or complicated dish and should not be intimidating to make, but is well worth making for a warming winter or fall evening.
1 chicken cut up in to pieces or the equivelant in already cut up chicken
1/4 cup of salt pork or 4 rashers of bacon cut up ( I used pancetta)
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 a bottle of red wine (something that you would drink but it does not have to be a great wine)
1 sprig of fresh thyme or teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of peeled pearl onions
Place the chicken in a frying pan skin side down and brown on both sides, there should be no need to add fat as the chicken skin will provide quite enough on its own.
Remove the chicken and place it in a large casserole dish, then in another frying pan or the cleaned out one already used fry the bacon pieces until crispy and drain on some kitchen paper. Reserve a little of the fat for later.
Sprinkle the bacon, and flour on to the chicken and stir up, so that the flour is absorbed by the juices and residual fat from the chicken.
Now add the herbs and add enough red wine to almost cover the chicken.
Simmer for about 40 minutes with the lid on, until the chicken is well cooked but not falling off the bone.
Now saute the mushrooms and pearl onions in a little of the reserved bacon fat, until they are just browned.
Remove the chicken and place in the serving dish, preferably one that can go in the oven to keep warm.
Add the mushrooms and onions to the sauce remaining in the casserole and simmer down until the sauce is thick and add salt and pepper if needed. This is a critical part of this dish as concentrating down the cooking liquid is in fact concentrating down the flavour.
When the sauce is thick and rich pour over the chicken and serve with a sprig of thyme on top.
A wonderfully comforting winter dish, merci France.