1.Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and marinate in red wine for at least two hours in the fridge.
2.Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
3.Put the onions in a roasting tray with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until tender (about 12 minutes).
4.Heat a large ovenproof casserole dish and saute the bacon until the fat is rendered out.
5.Remove the bacon and chop into large pieces. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, then brown in the casserole dish. Cook the chicken in batches to avoid stewing.
6.Remove the chicken and saute mushrooms in the same dish for 2-3 minutes. Add the bacon, chicken, onions, red wine, stock and parsley.
7.Cover and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for a further 25 minutes.
8.Peel and roughly chop the parsnips. Put into a saucepan and cover with milk and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and cook for 25 minutes.
9.Drain, reserving the milk, and pass the parsnip through a sieve. Gradually add the milk back into the mash, while whisking, until you achieve a creamy consistency. Add the butter and mix well.
10.Spread a generous amount of the parsnip mash on each plate, then lay the Cos leaves on top. Spoon over the coq au vin and garnish. Spread mustard on each slice of the toast and serve alongside.
Use free-range chicken whenever possible. It is more flavourful because the bird has been given the chance to run around, which means it gets leaner and develops muscles. This coq au vin dish will taste even better if you can avoid cheap cooking wine. There’s no need to waste that special bottle you’ve been holding on to all year, but the wine’s tannins come through at the end, so opt for a quality drop if possible. I use milk and water for the mash as the dairy helps to bring out the sweetness in the parsnips while also keeping their colour. I love making this dish as I can get two meals out of it. The family ate this last night, so this evening I’m throwing the leftover coq au vin in a casserole dish, topping it with any leftover parsnip mash and reheating it all for a new take on cottage pie. – Mike Van de Elzen