Cooking with wine is one of life’s great joys and one perfected over time and tradition by those who have loved and revered magical culinary combination for centuries.


Coq au Vin is a classic that never goes out of style because, well for one thing, it just tastes so good! There are hundreds of versions of coq au vin. Some marinate the chicken overnight first in the wine, which you can experiment with too. This is a recipe we love at Cellar Maison. It is loosely based on Nigel Slater’s recipe and as we know, he is a man of integrity and passion for food and goodness.

The traditional wine match is a burgundy, which is in turn, the wine historically used in the dish too.  As always, choose the best ingredients and quality of wine you can and the results will thank you.  On this note – we’ve been talking to clients of Cellar Maison who report that they just love being able to go into their bespoke cellar, browse and select the wine they want to drink – it’s another time honoured tradition in life and one that now can be enjoyed in any home, you don’t need underground space, even smaller homes can have a wine wall installed – See our gallery for inspiration.

As winter creeps towards us, a hearty, slow cooked meal is all the more appealing. Enjoying the seductive aromas filling the house on a lazy weekend afternoon is part of the pleasure and makes the anticipation of tucking in later in the day, all the better.

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Cellar Maison’s Coq au Vin

This recipe serves 4.

1 large chicken or coq, cut into 6 or 8 pieces (Save giblets and carcass for the stock)

1 brown onion, 1 carrot and a few peppercorns  – this is for the stock

200g bacon or pancetta cut into thick matchsticks

40g butter

2 brown onions chopped medium fine

1 large carrot chopped finely

2 sticks of celery chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic sliced

3tablespoons of plain flour

3 tablespoons cognac

1  x 750ml bottle of red wine – preferably Burgundy

Bouquet Garni – 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf – tie together with cotton string

50g butter

12 small onions pickling onions

250g button mushrooms

To serve – Mashed potatoes and steamed green beans – or other vegetables

TO PREPARE

First, make the stock – place the chicken carcass into a heavy based saucepan and cover with water, add a peeled onion and the carrot, a few whole peppercorns and bring it up to the boil. Keep it at a low simmer until needed.

Now, in a heavy casserole dish, gently melt the butter and add the pancetta or bacon. Fry carefully until golden – take care not to burn. Remove pancetta from the pan and leave all the fat in for the next step.

Place the chicken pieces in the hot fat in the casserole and season with salt and pepper.  Once they are a light golden brown, lift the chicken out and set aside with the pancetta.

Add the chopped onions and carrot to the pan and cook slowly until the onion is translucent and tender – keep stirring to make sure that the pan juices and bits are all cooking in with the onion to form a luscious flavour base.  Add the garlic and allow to cook gently without browning.

Stir in the flour and return the chicken and pancetta to the pan. Add the cognac – you can flambé this if you wish too, it will just burn the alcohol off for a moment.  Pour in the wine and add the bouquet garni. With a ladle, spoon stock over the chicken until the pieces are covered. Bring just to the boil then turn down low so that the sauce just simmers gently. Cover partially with a lid.

Meanwhile, as the chicken cooks, take a small saucepan and gently melt the butter, add the little peeled onions and then the button mushrooms.  Cook until they are golden. Add them to the chicken.

Cook coq au vin for 40-60 minutes. Check carefully and take care not to overcook – the flesh should be tender but not falling off the bone. Once cooked, remove the chicken pieces carefully with a large flat spoon and set aside.

Boil the sauce so that it reduces down to be glossy and thickened slightly, but not gluggy. Return the chicken pieces to the casserole and serve.

Traditionally coq au vin is served with flat pasta but we prefer it with creamy mashed potatoes and some steamed green beans. Crusty bread is also good to mop up the sauce.  This improves with a day or so in the fridge so feel free to cook the day before and reheat gently.

Bon appétit!

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  1. […] elegant and flavorful dishes, its no wonder that France is known for this artform. Their well-known coq au vin, or chicken marinated and cooked in wine, is an irresistible […]

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