Coq au Vin

Making coq au vin properly, marinating the chicken over night in aromatic concentrated wine, then allowing enough time for the flavours to develop, is not an after work dish. This quickie version for two is one of my favourite comfort suppers. I add peas, sometimes boiled carrot and waxy potatoes too, with a parsley garnish but mash or jacket potatoes are good too.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 30 min

1 large shallot or small onion

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

6 chicken thigh fillets

1 tbsp flour

2 large, flat mushrooms

75g diced pancetta or streaky bacon

150g frozen petits pois

150ml red wine

200ml chicken stock

few sprigs flat leaf parsley      Halve, peel and finely chop the shallot. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a spacious frying pan, stir in the shallot and cook gently, stirring often. Following the grain, slice the chicken in chunky strips. Toss with seasoned flour. Wipe the mushrooms and slice in 4 or 5 pieces. Chop the bacon. Tip the peas into a colander to begin defrosting. Stir the bacon into the softening shallot, cooking until the fat releases and crisps. Move shallot and bacon to the side of the pan, increase the heat slightly and quickly brown the chicken. Add the red wine. Let it bubble up while you stir to incorporate the shallot and bacon, creating a small amount of thick, smooth sauce. Fold in the mushrooms followed by the stock. Keep stirring, and when the sauce is smooth and creamy, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes to cook the chicken and mushrooms. Season to taste. Add the peas and either cover and leave for 10 minutes or simmer for 2-3 minutes until done. Alternatively, cook them separately and add to the pot. Chop the parsley leaves. Fold in just before serving.