Coq au vin recipe from the Anchor in Hulbridge

Daniel Watkins is head chef at the Anchor in Hullbridge. He’s worked with some great chefs over the years but one of his best mentors was his mum who got him interested in cooking from an early age. A great advocate for local produce, Daniel also likes to go foraging for wild herbs and flowers along the River Crouch in his spare time. Here Daniel shares his recipe for coq au vin with a difference.

 IngredientsServes 2-4

6 Essex bird chicken legs250g of quality Wick’s Manor bacon (thick cut)6 peeled and chopped shallots1 large carrot (peeled and chopped)1 leek (trimmed and roughly chopped)A bottle of French red wine3-4 tbsp olive oilMaldon sea salt and black pepper1 head of garlic (halved across)A few sprigs of thymeA bay leaf1 tsp of white peppercorns75ml of brandy75ml of portA splash of sherry vinegar500ml of chicken stock 500ml of veal or beef stock

To garnish100ml of thick cut/chunky lardonsA braised baby onionSalted, wafer-thin toasted bread

To prepare:Put the chicken legs, bacon and chopped vegetables into a bowl and completely cover with the red wine. Leave in a fridge, ideally for 24 hours.Strain the wine off and keep for later. Keep the bacon and vegetables to one side, but dry off the chicken by patting with a kitchen towel.Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish. Season the legs with salt and pepper and fry on each side until a rich, golden brown. Set aside. If needed, add a touch more oil and then add the vegetables and bacon. Sweat them off over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until they soften. Add the garlic and herbs with the peppercorns and continue to fry.Deglaze the dish with the sheer vinegar, Port and brandy and reduce to a sticky glaze. Now pour the two stocks and saved wine in and add the two chicken legs. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the legs are cooked through and skim off the scum that forms on the top. Remove the legs and strain the stock through a sieve and put into a clean, wide pan. Boil it up vigorously, reducing it to make a rich, syrupy sauce.Saute the lardons separately until crisp. When ready, return the legs to the sauce and add the braised onion and lardons. Warm through and divide equally onto serving plates.Garnish with thyme sprigs and the salted, wafer thin bread and enjoy.

Get the tasteThe Anchor Riverside Pub and RestaurantFerry Road, HullbridgeEssex  SS5 6ND01702 230777


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