French-style chicken in wine

Think of a French country–style meal and chances are your mind will conjure up the image of chicken simmering in robust red wine. This updated version contains French shallots, mushrooms and carrots, so the only accompaniment needed is potatoes and bread.

French-style chicken in wine


  • 12 French shallots or baby onions
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic–flavoured olive oil
  • 50 g bacon, rind removed, cut into thin strips
  • 12 chestnut or button mushrooms
  • 4 chicken joints such as breasts, about 175 g each
  • several sprigs of fresh parsley, stalks bruised
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 ml chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) full–bodied red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 300 g carrots, cut into chunks
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn
  • flour
  • chopped fresh parsley to serve


  1. Put the shallots or onions in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover.
  2. Leave for 30 seconds, then drain.
  3. When cool enough to handle, peel and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a flameproof casserole dish.
  5. Add the bacon and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until crispy.
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  7. Add the shallots to the casserole dish and fry, stirring often, over a moderately high heat for 5 minutes or until browned all over.
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  9. Add the mushrooms to the dish, with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil if needed, and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden.
  10. Return half of the bacon and shallots to the casserole dish.
  11. Place the chicken joints on top and sprinkle with the remaining bacon and shallots.
  12. Tie the herbs into a bouquet garni and add to the dish with the stock and wine.
  13. Season generously with pepper.
  14. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  15. Add the carrots and continue simmering over a low heat for a further 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender but still crisp.
  16. Lift out the chicken and arrange on a warmed serving platter.
  17. Strain the liquid into a saucepan.
  18. Add the bacon, mushrooms, shallots and carrots to the chicken and keep warm.
  19. Put the bouquet garni back in the strained liquid, add the sugar and bring to the boil.
  20. Boil until the sauce is reduced to about 1½ cups (375 ml).
  21. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste.
  22. Add to the sauce, stirring, and simmer until thickened.
  23. Adjust the seasoning to taste and discard the bouquet garni.
  24. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: about 1¼ hours


Perfect Poultry

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