Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It's a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken legs
15g (½oz) butter
150g (5oz) bacon or pancetta pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
200g (7oz) mushrooms (about 10–15 mushrooms), sliced into quarters
2 fresh thyme sprigs
450ml (16fl oz) white wine (about 2 glasses)
250ml (9fl oz) single cream
Good handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Place a large cooking pot over a high heat and add the olive oil. Put the chicken legs in the pot and brown on all sides until they are a golden colour. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat slightly and add the butter. When it begins to foam, add the bacon and fry until just crisp. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot along with the thyme and pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 45–50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Turn the legs halfway through the cooking time and remove any fat or scum that rises to the top.
When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside. Stir the cream into the juices, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the sauce is has become a little thicker.
Place the chicken back in the pot to allow it to warm through and stir through the chopped parsley. Make sure the food is hot when you serve it at the table.