Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coq au Vin & Dauphinoise Potatoes

I have a few recipes coming up that I'm amazed I haven't included before now. Of course there are plenty of reasons why they haven't yet made their appearance in the spotlight, but the truth of the matter is that these are some of my favourite recipes of all time and are regularly made during the cold winter months. This meal is one of them. Such a favourite in fact that the hot dish we had at our wedding buffet was Coq au Vin (which I thankfully managed to enjoy without spilling anything on my dress – I did however give the Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad a miss!). For me one of my absolutely favourite comfort meals to enjoy is this Coq-au-vin teamed not with mashed or boiled potatoes as many people enjoy but with rich and creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes. There is something about the combination of the wine sauce from the Coq au Vin cutting through the creaminess of the potatoes that make it a winning match. This is luxurious yet simple food at its absolute finest and makes a stunning dinner party meal, or for that matter (as we just had) a perfect meal for a cozy Saturday night in.

Coq au Vin
I've eaten, enjoyed and made Coq au Vin for many years trying various different methods (including marinating the chicken for 24 hours etc etc) but I have to say this is now the way I always make it and perfectly honestly love the most! It is a simplified version that's easy to make at home but still has that delicious, comforting flavour that you can't stop eating. For ease I use chicken thighs rather than a whole chicken that has been cut up into portions, however you use what you prefer.

The initial stages of crisping the bacon, sauteing the vegetables and browning the chicken may seem like a bit of work but it really is worth it for the final flavour so just allow yourself some time and enjoyment in the kitchen, because once it's in the oven your work is done!!

I like to serve my Coq Au Vin with Dauphinoise Potatoes and green beans but you could serve it with lots of crusty bread instead.

Serves 4-6 (depending how hungry you are!)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
4 rashers of streaky bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
10 large shallots (approx), peeled & cut in half
10-12 Chicken thighs (you could use less if they are large)
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp brandy
350ml Red wine
500ml Chicken Stock
2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
300g/ 10oz (approx.) of mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C.

In a large casserole pan heat 1 tbsp of the oil the add the diced bacon pieces and cook until they are just starting to turn crispy. If there is a lot of fat in the pan remove it so that you still have about 1 tbsp then add the onion and celery and cook for roughly 7 minutes until they have softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute then remove everything from the pan and set aside. Add the extra tablespoon of oil to the pan along with 1 tbsp of butter then over a medium-high heat add the shallots and cook for roughly 6 minutes until they are caramelized a golden brown on the outside and starting to soften. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the bacon and onion mix.

While the shallots are caramelizing put half of the chicken thighs into a large freezer or sandwich bag and sprinkle over a tablespoon of flour and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake well so all the chicken is evenly coated with a light dusting of flour. Add the last remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan then add the chicken in batches. While the first batch of chicken is browning add the remaining chicken thighs to the freezer bag and coat with the rest of the flour and some salt and pepper. Cook the remaining chicken until the skin is crispy and golden then remove from the pan. Carefully remove all of the fat and oil from the pan as there will be a lot from the chicken.

Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the brandy scraping up all the yummy brown goodness before the brandy reduces completely. Add the vegetables and the chicken back to the pan then pour over the wine and stock along with the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid and put in the oven for roughly 2 hours.

Towards the end of the cooking time heat a frying pan until hot then add half a tablespoon of butter and half of the oil. Saute the mushrooms in batches so that they aren't over crowded in the pan, until golden brown, using the rest of the butter and oil as needed. Once they are all sauteed remove and set aside.

Once the Coq Au Vin has had almost 2 hours in the oven taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary then add the sauteed mushrooms. Return the casserole back to the oven for a further 15 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley, serve and enjoy with a nice glass of wine!

Dauphinoise Potatoes

30g/ 1oz butter
1kg potatoes
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
200ml double or whipping cream
200ml milk
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C.

Using ½ of the butter generously grease a gratin dish or a shallow casserole dish. Peel the potatoes then slice into approximately ¼ inch slices – if you have one, a mandolin makes light work of this, but if not just use a sharp nice and try and keep all the slices the same.

Layer the potatoes in the dish until you have used them all. In a jug mix together the cream and milk and add the crushed garlic and the leaves from 3 of the thyme sprigs. Season well with salt and pepper and mix well before pouring over the potatoes. Put the potatoes on a baking tray then dot over the remaining butter and the last 3 sprigs of thyme. Bake in the oven for roughly 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden brown on top and tender potatoes underneath. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.


  1. pure comfort food... and those potatoes... hello!

  2. mmmmmmm. I love dauphinoise potatoes - amazing! Looks like an amazing, comforting meal with all the best rustic flavors.

  3. The Coq au Vin looks wonderful. Just the sort of thing I could happily delve into for dinner tonight.

  4. I love me some good coq au vin and this recipe looks very, very delicious. Personally, I love seeing all the work that goes on before the dish slides in the oven because it means that the layers of flavor have been built properly. Your version does that and then some.

    The potatoes; holy cow. Gorgeous, delicious, mouthwatering.

  5. I've never had Coq au Vin before, but it looks delicious! And I'll take the whole dish pf potatoes please!

  6. This sounds absolutely delicious! This is my idea of foodie heaven!

  7. That's a lovely coq au vin--always one of my favorite winter dishes!

  8. This is one beautiful meal. I need to come for dinner. Lol!

  9. Thank you all so much for such wonderful comments! It is honestly one of my favourite meals ever!

    Steph - PLEASE try it - I honestly don't think you will be disappointed!

    Kim - I would love to have you over for dinner!!! x

  10. glad to see a much-simplified version of coq au vin! the food looks fabulous! maybe now i can try it one day (:

  11. What a decadent and lovely french meal!

  12. Thanks Shu Han and Grubarazzi!

    Shu Han - you definitely should! If you do I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Grubarazzi - It is exactly that and when I'm in the mood for some delicious French food, this is what I make! Hits the spot every time!! : )

  13. My boyfriend's company Christmas party is going to be at a French restaurant and I am excited to give their Coq au Vin a try. Your version makes it look worthy of a try.

  14. Wow! I have been making Coq au Vin for years..and never knew...But I serve it with dumplings and sour cream. Delicious !

    Those taters/ dauphinoise potatoes (AKA scalloped potatoes)I serve those taters with a ham...
    simmered 2-3 hours in brown sugar & apple juice & pinch of water and a few whole cloves (3-5) to almost cover. Flip ham over 1/2 way thru. It rids the salts and makes it more like a roast.)

    Try it with a PicNic Ham ... You wont be sorry! (and save the bone for pea or lentil soup)

    I learned this years ago in the Consolidated Bathurst/ Ottawa Valley lumber camps in Quebec, Canada.

    Merry Christmas!

  15. I did these potatoes myself--they are always an enormous hit when served to company. Hmmm, still planning Christmas Eve... For my (very similar) venture, see:

    Will need to try the coq an vin too!

  16. Both of these dishes look absolutely delicious! I can see why you made the Top 9 - congratulations!


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