Coq au vin casserole


There's nothing like a casserole baking in the oven for dinner. Because once the prep work is over, you can bung it in the oven, clean up the kitchen and go read a book for about an hour. And at dinnertime, there's a hot casserole waiting to be served with some garlic bread.

And if you really like your greens, a salad.

This casserole was meant to be a coq au vin - chicken cooked in wine. Then there was a change of direction. The shop I get fresh chickens from is run by a very nice man. Brings my order on time and just the way I want it- dressed chicken and skin on. The only problem is that the meat is quite tough if it's used to make a curry, but when roasted or casserole-d, the meat is tender, almost falling off the bone.

Classic coq au vin is cooked on a stovetop so that's how I started mine. Along the way, carrots got added. I love carrots in casseroles, they add a touch of sweetness and enrich the gravy. You could leave out both the bacon and the wine, in that case, remember to use more stock to make up the liquid component.

Here's the recipe:

Coq au vin casserole  

Ingredients
1.5 kg chicken
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
4 rashers bacon, sliced into strips
10 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 carrots, cut into 2" lengths and quartered
1 cup red wine
1½ cups chicken stock
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 sprigs rosemary
5 sprigs thyme
200 gm mushrooms
Oil

Method
Cut chicken into 10 pieces, wash and pat dry.
Mix flour, salt and pepper, coat chicken pieces well in this mixture.
Heat oil in a large pot, cook batches of chicken till light brown on both sides, remove and drain on paper towels.
When all the chicken has been fried, remove most of the oil then saute the bacon.
Add in the whole shallots and garlic, stir till onions are golden, then add in the carrots.
Put the chicken, wine, stock and tomato puree and give it all a good stir.


Check seasoning, cover with a lid, bring to a boil and then cook on a low flame for about 15 minutes.
Transfer contents into a casserole, add the rosemary and thyme, cover with a lid and place in a preheated 180°C oven for about 50 minutes.
At the end of this time, remove from the oven, add the mushrooms and give it a good stir.
Replace in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes more.



And voila - the coq au vin casserole. Flavourful, tender chicken with the wonderful aroma of herbs. 

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