Our young roosters are free range, and the moment they start crowing, fighting and vying to be king of the chicken kingdom, they are ready for slaughter and end up in our freezer.
We always divide the meat into portions and use the carcass to make a beautiful rich chicken bone broth.
If you don’t have access to this melt-in-the-mouth rooster meat you can easily replace it with chicken legs in the Coq au Vin recipe (but then, of course, you may want to call the dish ‘slow-cooked chicken’, as coq means rooster in French!)
4 legs of chicken meat, and wings
6 cloves of garlic, chopped in slices
6 bay leaves
6 branches fresh/dried thyme
some pieces of a whole nutmeg,
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
2 large onions, peeled and sliced into half-moon shape pieces
300 ml of red wine
Optional – add mushrooms and bacon (as Julia Child did in her famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
Melt the butter in an ovenproof casserole dish (I use a Crueset or Dutch Oven).
Brown the chicken legs until they are golden on all sides. Arrange the pieces nicely in the pot and sprinkle bay leaves, thyme, garlic, some nutmeg, salt and peppercorns over the top.
Layer the onions over the chicken legs and pour the wine over the top, and if necessary, pour extra water over too, so that the chicken legs are half covered with liquid.
Now bring up the heat in the pot, and when liquid is simmering put the lid on, and transfer the pot to the oven.
You can now leave the pot in the oven for two hours, the meat will become tender and begin to fall off the bone. Taste the jus before serving to see if it needs extra salt, but usually, it tastes good as it is.
If you add the bacon I usually add less salt from the beginning. I add the bacon while browning the chicken legs.
The mushrooms I add about 20 minutes before serving so they are nice and soft but not overcooked.
Enjoy with a rich green salad and some brown rice or cooked potatoes.