Crumpets Coq au Vin Blanc

Cordon Bleu cookery just got raised to another level.

As with some of our other casserole suggestions, given the effort involved, it's worth doing a fair quantity of the coq au vin if you have friends or a freezer.

Preparation: 30 minutes Serves: 24 crumpets
Cooking: 2 hours Cold-buttered crumpets
Ingredients Quantity (metric) Quantity (imperial)
Free-range chicken breasts (trimmed) 1.2 kg 2.6 lb
Free-range smoked cubed pancetta 300 g 10.6 oz
Small shallots (whole and peeled) 400 g 14 oz
Button mushrooms (whole and trimmed) 400 g 14 oz
Garlic cloves (finely chopped) 2 2
White wine 750 ml 26 floz
Chicken stock 450 ml 16 floz
Creme fraiche 200 ml 7 floz
Bay leaves 4 4
Thyme 3 tbsp 3 tbsp
Salt and pepper Plenty Plenty
Butter 20 g 0.7 oz


      The coq au vin blanc

      1. Gently heat the butter in a very large non-stick casserole pan. Add the smoked pancetta and cook on a low to medium heat for 7 or 8 minutes until all the fat has been cooked. Remove the pancetta and set to one side.
      2. Keep small shallots whole, cut any larger ones in half. Add the shallots and cook, again on a low to medium heat, for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a further 5 minutes then remove from the pan and set to one side.
      3. Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces. Add to the pan in batches, browning each chicken piece all over, on a low to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side, retaining any juices that it throws off.
      4. Add the white wine and chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a medium heat, add the bay leaves and thyme, and cook for 15 minutes, to reduce the liquid and allow it to absorb the flavours of the herbs.
      5. Add the chicken (and juices), pancetta, shallots, mushrooms and plenty of salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, cover and cook on a very low heat for 45 minutes.
      6. Add the crème fraiche and cook for a further 15 minutes.
      7. Et voilà!

      The crumpets

      1. Spoon on, crack open the Burgundy, and mange tout Rodney.


Please use free-range chicken. It’s not only egg-laying hens that dislike being cooped up in tiny filthy cages 24 hours a day.

And don't forget to use pancetta from happy pigs, or karma might come to bite you on the arse.