This must be one of the best comfort foods of all time, a classic French dish very easily made. Supermarkets seem to be selling out of poultry quickly but you can make this with any chicken pieces, just add 30 minutes to the cooking time if you are using drumsticks and thighs which are unboned. Eat it with a nice full-bodies red wine and serve with steamed new potatoes, mash – or whatever you fancy to mop up the delicious juices. Don’t leave out the redcurrant jelly – it adds just a hint of sweet-sour something which transforms the dish. Hint: baby shallots can be horrible to peel. Save yourself the trouble by plunging them into a basin of boiling water for 5 minutes, then the skins just give in and drop off.

Serve with tender green beans or peas from the freezer and with any other carby food that you like. A creamy mash is brilliant as a way to soak up the juices.

Serves 2


4-6 skinned chicken thigh fillets depending on size and appetite

700 ml red wine

3 rashers of lean bacon or 150g diced pancetta


200g small round shallots, peeled

4 peeled and crushed garlic cloves

Heaped tablespoon plain flour

200 ml chicken stock, or Marigold bouillon or similar made up with boiling water

Half teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

200 g chestnut button mushrooms

Salt, pepper

Tablespoon red currant jelly


Pour the red wine over the raw chicken and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge or for at least an hour if you are in a hurry.

Turn on the oven to preheat at 160 degrees C

Chop the bacon into dice and fry off until crisp in a dry pan then set aside.

Add a little oil to the pan, reduce the heat and sweat the shallots until just a little browned (if using banana shallots cut in half)

Add the crushed garlic and zizz around for about a minute. Transfer shallot mix to the plate that has the bacon on it

Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. Cut each thigh piece in half. Dredge in the flour and fry on gentle heat until browned – about 3 minutes.

Return the bacon, onion and garlic to the pan. Add the marinade and the chicken stock. Bring to the boil then immediately transfer to an ovenproof dish, adding the thyme, bayleaf and button mushrooms along with salt and pepper. Drape with foil or greaseproof paper then add a tight fitting lid and place in oven.

Cook for an hour or until tender. Just before the end of cooking, stir in a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly.

If there’s too much liquid, either serve it separately in a gravy dish or ladle it out and reduce on a fierce heat in a separate pan

This can be cooked in advance, cooled and served the next day. It can also be frozen successfully.