I always used to make coq au vin with red wine but I find this white wine version more elegant and it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavour of the chicken. The sauce is so delicious that you could make it separately and add chopped leftover cold chicken just to ring the changes. Serve it with fluffy mounds of buttery mash for a perfectly delicious French bistro classic supper.
- 1 whole chicken, jointed or a pack of 12 skinless chicken thighs dusted with 1 tbsp of plain flour (you could also use cooked leftover chopped chicken or turkey)
- 4 banana shallots, peeled with the root intact and quartered lengthwise
- 80g pancetta or bacon lardons
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed to a paste with a little salt
- 500ml dry white wine
- 300ml chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 egg yolk whisked into 100ml double cream (I have also used Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche for a lighter, slightly more tangy flavour)
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 140°C.
- Heat half the oil and butter in a cast-iron casserole and sauté the pancetta, shallots and garlic for a few minutes until the shallots have softened and turned golden. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until all the remaining fat has been absorbed. Transfer it to a bowl.
- Add the remaining butter and oil to the casserole and brown the chicken pieces in a couple of batches (omit this step if you use leftover turkey – just make the sauce and add the meat at the end).
- Put all the chicken back in the casserole with the wine, stock, bay leaf, thyme, mushrooms, shallots and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and put in the oven for about 45 minutes so the chicken will cook through gently.
- Remove from the oven, pour off the liquid into a saucepan and keep the chicken covered. Reduce the sauce, take it off the heat and then whisk in a ladle of the stock to the egg and cream mixture before whisking it back into the stock. Place over a medium heat so that it thickens slightly but don’t allow it to boil. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken, garnish with chopped parsley.
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