Start by coating the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, making sure that they are completely covered. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan, and then brown the chicken pieces on all sides for a few minutes. Remove them from the pan, and put to aside. In the same pan, and add the shallots and bacon and cook them for about 4 minutes, releasing all their juices. Put the browned chicken pieces back into the pan, and then add the thyme sprigs, balsamic vinegar, button mushrooms, red wine, chicken stock and season well with pepper and salt. Bring to the boil, and then simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes, to slowly cook the chicken. After 30 minutes, add the prunes to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes. Check that the chicken pieces are cooked through. If not, cook the coq au vin for another 10 minutes. When ready to serve, add the chopped parsley to the coq au vin with prunes and serve with warm crusty bread.

Serves 6

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