Entertain at home: French-style chicken stew with mushrooms and thyme

When it comes to colder weather, a hearty stew wins hearts every time. Called “coq au vin”, this classic French-style chicken stew with red wine is simple to make, yet elegant enough to entertain special dinner guests. Served with a glass of Spier Creative Block 3.

23 APRIL - SATURDAY ENTERTAIN - French-style chicken stew with mushrooms and thym

Serves 4 – 6

You’ll need: 45ml olive oil; 12 mixed chicken pieces, about 1-1,2kg (legs, thighs, etc.); salt & pepper; 1 onion, cut into thin wedges; 125g streaky bacon, sliced; 3 – 4 sprigs thyme; 250g button/ portobellini mushrooms (keep small ones whole, slice large ones in half); 15ml tomato paste; 25ml cake flour; ½ bottle red wine (Spier Creative Block 3); chopped Italian parsley, to serve.

How to:

In a wide heavy-based pot/casserole, heat the oil over medium heat and fry the chicken pieces in 2 batches on the skin side until golden, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Remove the chicken with tongs and set it aside. Now add the onion, bacon & thyme to the pot and fry, stirring, until the onion starts to soften and the bacon starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and fry for another minute. 

Add the tomato paste and flour, then stir to mix. Now add the red wine and stir. Arrange the fried chicken pieces back into the pot in a single layer, pushing them under the mushrooms so that they are mostly covered in wine. 

Cover with a lid, then bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to very low and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over once during the process to ensure even cooking. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed. 

Serve with steamed greens and rice or boiled baby potatoes.

* Recipe by Ilse van der Merwe. Photography by Tasha Seccombe. Recipe sourced via Spier.