Best Coq au Vin

It has wonderful complex flavours and tastes like pure comfort food. Each step gives such satisfaction, from the browning bits of fragrant pancetta to the softness of the chicken and the fruity aroma of the wine.

Ingredients

4 skinless Chicken Breasts, each cut in half
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped finely
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
3 Celery Sticks, diced
1 Leek, diced
6 Sprigs of Thyme
750 ml Red Wine
200 g Pancetta, chopped
100 g Plain Flour
Sea Salt & freshly Ground Black Pepper
20 Shallots, peeled
150 g Button Mushrooms
5 Tsp Brandy
500 ml Chicken Stock
3 Bay Leaves
2 Tomatoes, skinned deseeded and diced
1 Tbsp Tarragon leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp Parsley leaves, chopped

Method

In a large bowl place the Chicken, Garlic, Carrot, Celery, Leek, Thyme and Red Wine
Cover and marinade overnight in the fridge
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
In a large casserole dish, fry the Pancetta pieces over a medium heat until starting to crisp
Meanwhile strain the Chicken and vegetables, reserving the marinade and vegetables
On a plate, season the Flour and then coat the Chicken pieces thoroughly
Add the Chicken to the Pancetta and fry on a high heat until browned all over
Add the reserved marinated vegetables, Shallots and Mushrooms
Fry until softened
Remove the casserole dish from the heat
Pour over the Brandy and carefully flame off the alcohol
Gradually stir in the reserved marinade juices and Chicken Stock
Add the Bay Leaves
Cover the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 60 minutes
Stir in the Tomatoes and Tarragon
Divide between the 4 warmed serving plates and garnish with Parsley
Serve with creamy mashed potato or crusty bread

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