So as you can see from my blog I do tend do to a lot more baking than savoury cooking however I actually really love cooking. I think I take after my mum in that respect because she’s always in the kitchen trying out new recipes whether it be soup or a new mediterreanean cusine she came across in one of her many cookery magazines. Last Saturday I volunteered to cook for the family and decided to make coq au vin. Although in total ti takes over an hour to cook, it really is quite easy to prepare and cook. The Ingredients you need are:
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 3 rashers (100g) dry-cured, smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped
- 12 small shallots, peeled
- 2 free-range chicken legs (460g), skin removed
- 4 free-range chicken thighs with bone and skin (650g), skin removed
- 2 free-range, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (280g)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp brandy or Cognac
- 600ml red wine
- 150ml chicken stock
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 3 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 bay leaves, to make a bouquet garni
- small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
For the mushrooms
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
For the thickener
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof dish. Tip in the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Add the shallots to the pan and fry, stirring or shaking the pan often, for 5-8 mins until well browned all over. Remove and set aside with the bacon.2. Pat the chicken pieces dry with kitchen paper. Pour the remaining oil into the pan, then fry half the chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 5-8 mins until well browned. Remove, then repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove and set aside.
3. Scatter in the garlic and fry briefly, then, with the heat medium-high, pour in the brandy or Cognac, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.
4. Return the chicken to the pan along with any juices, then pour in a little of the wine, stirring the bottom of the pan again. Stir in the rest of the wine, the stock and tomato purée, drop in the bouquet garni, season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then return the bacon and shallots to the pan. Cover, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 50 mins-1hr.
5. Lift the chicken, shallots and bacon from the pan and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni. To make the thickener, mix the flour, olive oil and butter in a small bowl using the back of a teaspoon. Bring the wine mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually drop in small pieces of the thickener, whisking each piece in using a wire whisk. Simmer for 1-2 mins. Pour over the wine sauce and serve with your choice of side dish.
The Coq au vin was delicious and extremely moreish. We made enough for two days by doubling the portion of chicken. The first day we had it with rice and the second I just had it with some vegetables. It didn’t lose its flavour having it two days in a row, rather it tasted just as good, I had been looking forward to eating it again and as not disappointed!
It was really fun cooking with mum and she gave me some tips along the way such as the best way to chop garlic and how to hold my knife. We didn’t follow the recipe completely by the book, rather just used chicken thighs (as they were on offer) and used cornmeal to make the juice thicker. The original recipe also says to add the mushrooms a bit later but we just threw it all in together and left it to simmer. So if you’re looking for a dish that will please all your family, give this a go, it’s simple and deliciously flavoursome. Next time I’m going to give Julia Child’s recipe a go as I’ve just come across it now and it looks amazing!