Coq Au Vin recipe for Shanghai home-cooking

This is the most classic French home-cooked dish and has been ‘done’ everywhere – however, this is an easy and tasty version, with a flavour-soaking twist at the end.

Though a simple recipe, it should be done in this order.

So, lay out on your kitchen worktop:

Leeks and courgettes chopped into decent size pieces

250ml chicken stock / or chicken stock cube

chicken legs OR chicken thighs (bone in!), covered with flour, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, black pepper

butter – about 2 thumb-sized pieces or around 100g

half bottle red wine

4/5 garlic cloves, sliced
6 shallots or 1 onion, sliced
balsamic vinegar

oil (sunflower etc. all fine)

lardons / fatty bacon diced

chopped cherry tomatoes

For the cooking:


In a very big oven-proof pot, cook the onions and garlic on medium-low heat, adding a glug of balsamic and good few shakes of paprika, and a bit of black pepper. Cook for 10 mins until going well – do not even nearly burn the onions though! If cooking to fast … take down to the lowest heat and let go for as long as you can while they are far from over-cooked or burnt.

Take out and set aside in a bowl


You may need to add more oil, then, on the highest heat, fry the chicken – most likely need to be done in a couple of loads, as all the chicken needs to be touching the bottom of the pan. (do not over-crowd a pan with items or it won’t all fry well)

Fry on the highest heat about 5 – 10 mins each side, adding the butter just a couple of minutes before you stop.

The skin must be crispy and the inside pretty much uncooked. You may need to re-oil or re-butter if there is not enough in there for the second load of chicken.
Make sure you didn’t skimp on the flour or herbs – more the better.

Take chicken out and set aside.


lightly steam or boil the leeks and courgettes for 5 mins or so in the chicken stock


On medium-low heat = add bacon fat / pork fat and cherry tomatoes

After the bacon and tomatoes have been going for just a few minutes, put back in the chicken + garlic and onions.

Get the heat high again so you can then add the half-bottle of red wine and it fizzles when poured in.

Once the wine is in and has fizzled for 30 seconds or however long, turn to low and add the other vegetables and enough chicken stock to cover it all.

Put the lid on the pot and put in a PRE-HEATED oven on about 160C for about an hour.

When you take it out — to serve it, put the chicken on a plate, and then, add around half a pack or more of COUS-COUS and stir it into the sauce. Cous cous you say? What’s he thinking? Has he gone quite mad?! Ah, the mis-understood genius.

Anyway, this will be the best thing you have eaten this year. You’ll lick the fucking plate clean.

Sure, it’s not ‘traditional’, so maybe you’ll annoying a couple of Frenchmen in the process of modifying their time-honoured dish. Which is a splendid bonus indeed.

To recap:

This is simply about (1) preparing everything well first, (2) cooking each stage separately (3) fizzling the wine for just a very little while before adding everything in together.

I don’t add salt because of the bacon, but do feel free.

You can also have a separate stage of well-frying mushrooms, to add more flavour to the pot.

You can even go wild and serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze over the chicken. Yum.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Food


Foreigner in Shanghai


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