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Felicity Cloake's recipe for coq au vin - MW

The definitive step-by-step guide to this quintessentially French peasant dish of boozy chicken laden with lardons and herbs

Coq au vin are all the explanations I need for the enduring appeal of French cuisine - a recipe designed to get maximum results from the bare minimum if you are a chicken producer, making wine. For those of us who don't have unlimited old birds and rustic wine to use, it's a little less economical, but perhaps more than a treat - a classic that The Pot is well worth a review.

Prep 10 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 4

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750ml fruity red wine (see step 1)
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small onion
5 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 tbsp butter
150g unsmoked bacon lardons
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt and black pepper
4 chicken thighs, bone-in
2 chicken legs, bone-in
20 baby onions, or 10 round shallots
20 button mushrooms, or 10 white mushrooms
4 tbsp brandy

1 Beginning of fever
Pour the wine (pinot noir or something light enough is ideal, although I splash) in a large jar.
Chopped carrots (no peeling necessary; just rinse) and celery, onions (again, unpeeled unless they are dirty) and mash four cloves of garlic (again, remove the peel). Add them to the pan with bay leaf and three quarters of the thyme.
2 small lights and cut in half
Bring the pan to a boil, note the quantity (a pencil mark on a wooden spoon is useful or, for a high-tech solution, take a side photo), then cool slightly. and simmer until about half. Pour through a colander into a heat-resistant jar and remove the vegetables and herbs.

3 fried lard
While the wine is falling, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan that you have a lid on medium-high heat and, when it has stopped foaming, fry the bacon until it is golden. Remove with a spoon and set aside. Meanwhile, spread the dough on a plate and season.
4 Flour and brown chicken
Roll the chicken pieces into the batter - you can remove the skin, if desired, but you may want to add a little fat to the pan to compensate; and, if you prefer, use whole and spliced chicken, instead of the pieces offered. Work in batches so as not to overload the pan and brown the chicken evenly.
5 Blanch and peel the onions
Boil warmly, then, while the chicken is brown, pour boiling water in a bowl and soak the onions (or chives) for 30 seconds. Carefully peel the onions and cut all the beard pieces from the end of the root. (It's hard work, but blurring at least helps loosen the skin.)

6 brown onions
When the first batch of chicken is brown, set aside with bacon and repeat with the rest of the chicken. There should always be a certain amount of fat in the bacon, but if not, add a little butter or a little oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the peeled onions and cook, roasting occasionally for about 10 minutes until they start to caramelize.
7 Add the garlic and mushrooms
Although onions are brown, precious mushrooms if you use the larger white variety; If you use the baby, leave it all. Peel and chop the last cloves of garlic. Add the two to the onion pan and fry for about five minutes, stirring so that the garlic does not set, then transfer the entire contents of the pot to a bowl.
8 Kill the fire, then add the chicken
Turn over high heat, pour a drop of wine into the pot and scrape the sole. Add the chicken and most of the bacon, add a few pieces of fat later, then pour in the brandy and place it. When the fire is out, add the remaining wine and thyme and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
9 Touch finish
Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and simmer for another 20 minutes, this time only partially covered. Season and adjust for seasoning, and serve with potatoes or rice and with reserved pork fat sprinkled on top.
Wish you have a delicious meal

MW

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