This delicious recipe is loosely based on the classic Coq au Vin, but only very loosely!!! So no getting in touch all you perfectionists out there
It does require you to marinade the chicken, but it's so worth the time
FOR THE MARINADE
1 bottle good-quality red wine
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 small onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, un-peeled, but crushed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
FOR THE STEW
4 large chicken joints (thigh or leg), or a mixture of both, skinned
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow frying
100g/3½oz smoked pancetta, rind removed, cut into large chunks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp plain flour
20 button onions, peeled
20 button mushrooms
3 tbsp cognac
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Mashed potatoes to serve along side
Place the marinade ingredients into a casserole dish and bring to the boil.
Allow the volume of liquid to reduce by one-third and strain into a clean, non-reactive bowl and set aside to cool. Make sure that the marinade cools completely
Place the chicken pieces into the marinade, cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours or if possible overnight.
Warm the olive oil in the casserole dish and gently fry the pancetta until golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Remove the chicken joints from the marinade, setting the liquid aside.
Season the chicken joints with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Dredge the joints in the flour, and then fry until golden-brown in a little olive oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the butter to the dish and place the onions and mushrooms into the casserole and fry gently for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Remove any excess fat with a spoon and return the chicken and bacon to the pot, turn up the heat and pour over the cognac. Set alight, allow the flames to die down
Now add the reserved, reduced wine. Gently simmer for one hour
Alternatively, cook the casserole in an oven preheated to 170C/325F/Gas 3.)
After an hour the chicken should be perfect
Adjust the seasoning to your taste
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley
Serve the red wine chicken with mashed potatoes and with some fantastic crusty bread