River’s Kitchen – coq au vin with a crispy potato topping

12-year-old River-Blue is an aspiring chef. Every month he shares one of his own original recipes: the crispy potatoes add an extra mouth-watering bite to this family favourite!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 chicken thighs 
  • 4 smoked streaky bacon rashers, chopped
  • 6 shallots, halved 
  • 300g mini carrots 
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced 
  • 1 pack button mushrooms
  • 1 small garlic bulb, crushed
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • Thyme, sage and rosemary
  • 2 large handfuls chopped parsley 
  • Sliced white or red potatoes (be careful: use a mandolin or get an adult to help) 
  • 600ml red wine
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Brown the chicken thighs over a high heat and then set aside. Do the same with the bacon
  • Add the shallots, carrots & celery to the pan. Fry for a few minutes, stirring all the time
  • Add the button mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes on a high heat
  • Stir in the tin of tomatoes, followed by the crushed garlic
  • Add the wine and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes 
  • Add the stock and herbs, plus salt and pepper to taste
  • Place the chicken thighs and bacon into a casserole dish
  • Pour the other ingredients over the chicken
  • Toss the potato slices in the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt, then place them over the dish
  • Cook in the oven for 1 hour. The potatoes should be golden and crisp!
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