Nothing makes a farmhouse kitchen feel more homely than a delicious casserole! This classic winter warmer takes surprisingly little time to prepare (when you do it Sam's way!) and you don't need to be too strict with following the recipe either. Once it's in the oven it will bubble away nicely leaving you to get on with other more important things, like sitting around the dining table drinking wine, eating nibbles and chatting to friends and family!
A lot of recipes will include celery, but Sam omits this, and serves the coq-au-vin with a celeriac and potato mash instead.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 free-range chicken legs
- 100g smoked bacon lardons
- 3-4 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 8-10 shallots, peeled and left whole
- 12-15 button mushrooms, whole or halved
- 3-4 tsp plain flour
- a third of a bottle of good red wine
- chicken stock
- bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary, bay
- handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- smoked sea salt and black pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 180c
- Place a frying pan on a medium high heat, add a splash of oil and fry the chicken legs, skin side down, until the skin turns a nice golden brown. Flip the chicken legs and remove the pan from the heat. (They'll keep cooking a bit in the pan, but that's ok)
- Put a casserole dish onto the hob (still on a medium high heat) and add the bacon. Once the fat begins to melt down, add the mushrooms and shallots. You may need to add a little oil, depending on how much fat comes off the bacon.
- Once the bacon, mushrooms and shallots begin to brown, add the flour and stir to coat the ingredients. Then gradually pour in the wine and stir to avoid any lumps forming.
- Add the chicken legs and carrots to the casserole dish, and top up with stock so that the chicken is just covered.
- Throw in the bouquet garni, put the lid on and pop the coq-au-vin in the oven for 35-40 mins.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and remove the bouquet garni, season with a pinch of sea salt (try Cornish Sea Salt's smoked variety, it's really good in this dish!) and some black pepper. Then serve with a sprinkle of parsley.