Coq Au Vin

What to cook in my new Falk Culinair copper pan? It wasn’t really a difficult decision – Coq au vin was the perfect test – frying off the ingredients, cooking the chicken in wine and then finishing off the sauce would really let me see what this pan was made of.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 chicken
  • 1 tablespoon lardons
  • 8-10 shallots
  • 1 handful baby button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • Thyme, parsley + 2 bay leaves
  • A small splash of balsamic vinegar
  • A handful of chantenay carrots
  • 3 or 4 baby leeks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper.

Beurre Manie

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour.

You need to portion the chicken. You can get your butcher to do this or have a go yourself. I didn’t actually use the whole chicken when I cooked this – just the thighs and legs as I was only cooking for 2 of us. Personally I’d always rather go for meat on the bone than the breast – save that for something else. The moist, tasty thigh and leg is where it’s at. If you can, cut the flesh and tendons just below where the main section of meat finishes on the leg and scrape back to expose the bone. Then cut into the bone to release the lower knuckle section of the leg and leave a neat upper leg portion with the bone exposed.
In a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients fry the lardons and shallots in a little hot oil. When browned, remove from the pan (keep in a warm bowl). Brown the mushrooms for 1 minute or so – add a dab of butter if the pan begins to dry. What you’re looking for hear is a good flavoursome fat to form in the pan. Remove the mushrooms and place them in the same bowl as the lardons and shallots.
Now you need to brown the chicken. You’re looking for a nice golden brown colour all over the chicken pieces. It helps if you season the chicken portions before you brown them. Once you’re happy with the colour, add the brandy to help caramelise the outside of the chicken. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds. Then add the whole bottle of wine.
Bring to the boil and tuck in the herbs (you can tie the herbs up if you like or wrap in  a muslin bag). Season to taste. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Now add the other vegetables and the balsamic vinegar, cover and cook for 50 minutes over a low heat – just enough to bubble the sauce.

The Falk Culinair Rondeau pan perfectly suited for a dish like this.

Make your Beurre Manie

In a bowl mix the butter and the flour until you form a smooth paste.
When the chicken is ready remove it from the pan along with the veg with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a bowl. Bring the remaining sauce to a rolling simmer and add the Beurre Manie –  The Beurre Manie is essentially a raw roux so it needs to be cooked until you can no longer taste the raw flour and it has thickened the sauce sufficiently.
Place the veg and chicken onto a serving dish and pour over the sauce.
Serve with either mashed potato or, as I did, some bread. I’d made up a batch of sourdough bread which went very nicely indeed with it – mopping up all that sauce.