This is a classic French recipe for a hearty meal. A slowly-cooked duck with vegetables bathed in plenty of red wine sauce. It’s hard to believe how tasty it is!
The original “Coq au Vin” recipe uses free-range rooster, which is much tastier than the chicken you find in the supermarket aisles. But let’s face it, it’s not easy to find rooster in modern days, unless your butcher is the coolest guy on earth. Mine is not.
Next best thing for me (in terms of birds) is the duck. I got four nice duck legs and I tried the recipe. I have tried the dish with rooster while in France but I assure you that duck competes well.
You will need at least a bottle of red wine. That sounds too much but it isn’t, trust me. Try not to use the cheapest wine as it may ruin your dish. A nice wine from France (Côtes du Rhône, some Bordeaux etc) or some Chianti from Italy will do a great job.
- 4 duck legs.
- 1 large onion chopped.
- 200 gr (7 oz) lardons or bacon pieces.
- 300 gr (10 oz) mushrooms cut in thick pieces.
- 2 carrots sliced.
- 2 celery sticks sliced.
- 2 tablespoons of butter.
- ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
- A bunch of fresh thyme.
- 2 bay leafs.
- 1 bottle of good red wine (maybe some more).
- ½ cup of white wine.
- ⅓ cup of brandy or cognac.
- Some flour.
- Salt and ground pepper.
- Wash the duck legs, dry them well using kitchen towel, season them with salt and pepper and cover them gently with some flour.
- Heat up one tablespoon of butter and 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and lardons and cook until the onion starts getting soft and brown. Use a slotted spoon and remove them from the pot.
- Add the duck legs one by one and cook them until they start getting brown on both sides. Remove them from the pot and keep them aside.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the brandy and use a wooden spatula to scratch the bottom of the pot to get all the nice flavours and juices. Very important!
- Place the duck legs in the pot, add the vegetables and cover them with the red wine. Add the bunch of fresh thyme and bay leafs. Close the lid and let it cook for at least 2 hours.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and give them a stir from time to time. When they get brown, add the white wine and let the juices reduce. Done!
- When duck is ready, place the legs and vegetables on a serving tray and add the mushrooms on top. If you need extra sauce, strain the remaining juices in the pot, warm it up in a small pot and add slowly a couple of tablespoons of flour while stirring.
- Bon appétit!