This is from Peter Hughes, AGA Demonstrator with a chef and restaurant-owner background. The Coq au Vin is chicken cooked in red wine, traditionally a male bird from Bresse and a wine from Burgundy.
2 x 1.5kg (3½ lb) free range chicken, each cut into 8 pieces
1 bottle full-bodied Burgundy red wine
24 small onions, peeled
4 carrots, peeled and quartered
Bouquet of herbs: thyme, bay leaf and parsley, tied together with string
Oil or butter
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp brandy
Salt and black pepper
12 unsmoked bacon slices, diced
450g (1 lb) button mushrooms
1. A day in advance, clean and cut each chicken into 8 joints, or more. Place in a glass dish and pour over the wine. Add the onions, carrots and bouquet, cover and place in the refrigerator.
2. The next day remove and drain the chicken and vegetables, reserving the wine. Heat the oil or butter and brown the chicken in the base of a buffet pan. Remove the chicken and add garlic to the vegetables and heat for a couple of minutes.
3. Return the chicken to the pan and add the brandy, ignite the spirit with a lighted taper. Then pour over the reserved wine and season. Bring to the boil, cover with the lid.
4. Place in the simmering oven and cook for 2-2½ hours.
5. To finish, heat the bacon and mushrooms in the lid of the buffet pan until they are browned and cooked. Then add the bacon and mushrooms to the chicken stir and reheat. Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.