“On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me three French hens…” When putting together this Christmas extravaganza this was the easiest day to link a dish to. What else would one make for “three French hens” other than coq au vin!? There are many a version of this French classic out there in the world, and this is my take on it. I love coq au vin (which by the way means chicken with wine) and I usually serve it with creamy Paris mash but you can serve it with whatever sides you would prefer. It’s undoubtedly the ultimate comfort food and a fantastic Christmas dish and although it’s complex in flavour it’s simple to make and this is going to one of those dishes you make time and time again!
1) Preheat your oven to 180C.
2) Heat half the butter and half the oil in a deep frying pan over a medium high heat. Meanwhile place flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour, making sure that you dust off any excess flour. Working in batches brown all of the chicken. Remove from the heat and place in a roasting tray until needed.
3) Add the remaining butter and oil into the frying pan, once butter is starting to foam add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions become translucent and the carrots start to soften. Next add the bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the bacon starts to brown, then add the mushroom and toss so they are well coated.
4) Next your going to add the tomato paste, red wine, herbs and stock to the pan and bring it to a boil. When it reaches a boil carefully pour it over the chicken. Cover the roasting tray with foil and place in your oven for an hour.
5) After an hour remove the foil and roast for another 30-40 minutes uncovered or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly. Allow to rest before garnishing with parsley and celery sprigs.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx