A rustic French classic, coq au vin (chicken with wine) is easy to make - but, like all good things, it does take a little time. However, if you want to save time, this dish can be prepared in a pressure cooker, which will halve the cooking time. Coq au vin is fantastic with spuds, be they mashed, boiled or roasted. I also love peas with it.
2 tbsp olive oil
4 sticks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup rindless pancetta, cut into 1cm dice
1.2kg chicken thigh cutlets on the bone
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 tbsp plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp grape seed oil
10 baby pickled onions, peeled
12 small button mushrooms
3 tbsp cognac
2 cups good-quality red wine
1 cup chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based pan and sauté the celery, garlic, carrot and pancetta over a low heat for about 8 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Combine the chicken pieces, salt, white pepper and flour in a bowl and toss.
Add the grape seed oil to the pan over a high heat, and sauté the chicken pieces in batches until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the onions and mushrooms, again to the same pan, and sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes or until slightly coloured.
Return the chicken pieces with their juices to the pan, turn the heat to high, and pour in the cognac. Reduce slightly then ignite to flambé. Allow the flames to die down then pour in the red wine and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, reserved vegetable mixture, herbs and redcurrant jelly, and simmer covered for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is just tender.
Serve with potatoes prepared your favourite way.
Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.