I usually do these recipe posts on a weekend, but as I'm heating up leftovers for lunch today, here we go:
There are few things more fun and satisfying to cook than coq au vin, given that nearly all recipes involve burning brandy on the stove top, and well as using copious amounts of red wine which (of course) you can also enjoy directly while cooking.
But there are quite a few variations on how to do the dish; some involving soaking the chicken in wine first, others with different components cooked separately and joined at the end.
Here's the simple recipe which I've settled on, recorded here in case I ever lose the book:
One chicken cut up however you like (but 8 pieces makes it easy)
about 6 bacon rashers
1/4 cup well seasoned flour (about a teaspoon of salt, and fair bit of pepper)
100 ml brandy (the book actually called for more, but that is plenty, I think)
2 cups red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
small mushrooms in whatever quantity you like
dozen or so small onions
In the cast iron casserole thing, cut up and fry the bacon in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Til it's nearly crispy is OK. Remove and drain
Using the flour in a bag method, coat all chicken pieces well and brown on all sides in two batches.
Put all chicken pieces back in, and turn the heat off while you get the brandy ready. Pour brandy all over the pieces, turn heat on low and ignite. Watch blue flames with pleasure.
When all burnt off, add the garlic, two cups of red wine and tomato paste. If the flour was seasoned strongly, no need for more salt.
I also added the bacon back at that time, but the recipe didn't actually mention if that was the right time to do so. It works OK doing it as I did.
Stir well and cover and cook on low heat for 50 minutes in total.
In a fry pan, with a bit of oil, fry off the peeled whole onions til they start to caramelise on the outside. Take them out and fry the mushrooms.
As the whole onions are tricky to cook the whole way through in a fry pan, I added them in to the casserole about half into the 50 minute cooking time. Added the mushrooms a bit later, so they still have some texture in the final meal too.
You can add peas in to cook with it in the last ten minutes too, but I just went with beans as a side, with mashed potato too. (Incidentally, I do better mashed potato than my wife. This is a truth widely acknowledged - by the kids.)
The ingredients are pretty simple, but the sauce works out fine.