Coq Au Cidre Recipe


Chicken & Eggs River Cottage HandbookTraditionally coq au vin is made with a cock bird and red wine, and very fine it is too. This adaptation using cider is, I think, every bit its equal. It works perfectly well with any hen or cock, and it is even better the day after. You can cook it in the oven (at 160°C/Gas mark 3) once you’ve added the cider, if that’s more convenient.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 chicken, about 1.6 kg, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g pancetta or unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into small cubes
  • 10 eschallots or large shallots, peeled
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • A good handful of thyme
  • 4 tbsp brandy (ideally apple brandy)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 700 ml dry cider
  • 200 g small dark-gilled mushrooms
  • 25 g plain flour
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Have the chicken joints ready to cook. Heat half the butter and 3 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken in batches on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper; don’t crowd the pan. Transfer all the chicken joints to a flameproof casserole that will accommodate them in a single layer.
  2. Add the pancetta to the frying pan and fry until lightly browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and add to the chicken. Add a little more oil to the pan if it is dry and cook the shallots gently, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and thyme, cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the brandy.
  3. Tip the contents of the frying pan over the chicken in the casserole and add the bay leaves. Pour in the cider, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes. Check that the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with a knife. If not, cook for another 10 minutes and check again. Transfer the chicken, bacon, onions and mushrooms to a warmed serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.
  4. Bring the cidery liquid to the boil and reduce it by about a third. Meanwhile, mix the flour and remaining softened butter to a paste. Add about half of it, in pieces, to the liquid, whisking all the time. Keep whisking the bubbling liquid to cook the flour and thicken the sauce, adding more of the paste if needed, to thicken it further. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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