Cheap eats: Warm Coq au Vin Salad

This unusual sounding dish was born from my inability to waste alcohol, and features some old red wine that was abandoned at the back of a cupboard. It’s easy, delicious and aromatic.

The rather delicious yet inexpensive bottle of French Merlot was opened towards the end of an evening and not quite finished. I stumbled upon said wine a week or two later and found it undrinkable. So I popped on my culinary thinking cap and devised this coq au vin salad.

I recommend it for a starter at a dinner party. It also makes a great cold lunch if you have leftovers.


1 bulb of garlic

1 slice of bread

1 spring onion or salad onion

Chicken breast- I used one as it was just for me, but add more as necessary

Good glug of red wine-I recommend using a freshly opened bottle of wine but if you have some lying around that might be on the turn use that.

Half table spoon of olive oil

Half table spoon of Truffle oil

Handful of fresh thyme- dried works too.

Pinch of herb de provence

Pinch of salt & pepper

Rocket leaves

Romaine lettuce

Let’s get cooking:

Shallow stab your chicken breast with a knife few times but don’t go all Norman Bates on the poor bird, and put to one side.

Chop the garlic & herbs then place in a mixing bowl large enough to hold your chicken and wine.

Add the chicken, olive oil, salt & pepper and wine, enough to cover the chicken, then give it all a good mix. It will be a very liquidy marinade but that’s what you want. Cover and place in the fridge.

Now, you could leave this overnight but I left it for an hour and did some ironing I think. Anyway an hour works for the chicken to take on the flavours.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/gas mark 5. Line a baking tray or dish with foil and place it in the oven to warm.

Once fully heated place your chicken on the tray and spoon over some of the marinade, I went for 2 table spoons. You don’t want the chicken to drown but the extra liquid will keep it tender. Cook for 20-30 mins.

While that cooks I chopped my lettuce, spring onion and mixed well with the rocket.

Cube the bread for croutons and heat the truffle oil in a frying pan. Add the cubed bread and cook until golden brown and the smell of truffle fills the air. Take off the heat when cooked, don’t let the bread burn, you want it golden brown.

Once the breast is cooked, let it rest for a minute and slice into chunks. You’ll notice the chicken has taken on a beautiful mauve colour flecked with herbs that adds a stark contrast to the soft white meat inside.

Plate up your salad first and then add the sliced chicken and top with the croutons and sprig of thyme to garnish. Or just mix it all together if you don’t want to be fancy.

Then dig in! Hope you enjoy!


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