coq au vin

coq au vinHarry Weir

A traditional coq au vin is one of my favourite dishes, rich and filling and a real celebration. Made with white wine instead of red brings a whole different dimension. Not better, but lighter and somehow more fun


  • 1 bottle white Burgundy
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 4 chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices pancetta, cut into lardons
  • 24 button onions, peeled
  • 24 button mushrooms
  • 1 small glass brandy


  1. Pour the wine into a saucepan, add the spices, bay leaves, thyme, onion, celery and carrot and reduce by half. This should take 20-30 minutes. Strain and reserve
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken and separate each leg and thigh. Season the flour generously with salt and pepper, toss the chicken pieces in this mixture and sauté in three tablespoons of olive oil over a gentle heat until just coloured. Turn over and repeat on the other side. Remove and set aside
  3. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook over a low heat for two minutes. Add the mushrooms and onions and continue to cook until slightly coloured, about five minutes
  4. Return the chicken and pour over the brandy. Set alight and, when the flames die down, pour in the reduced wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over the lowest heat for 45 minutes or alternatively in a low oven, 150ºC/gas mark 3 for one hour, uncovered
  5. Remove the chicken and vegetables and reduce the sauce for 10-15 minutes. Combine everything back together again and serve with plain potatoes or mash

Tip: You may be tempted not to use white Burgundy, but if substituting you need something with a bit of body. Not a time for Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe creditHugo Arnold

Photography credit: Juan Carlos Cordovez Mantilla