16 January 2010

Coq au Vin

Well, the results of Thursday's poll were... a little inconclusive to say the least (please please please let me know what you would like to see on here!) so when I had my Mum over for dinner tonight, I decided to cook what I wanted to cook, which was Coq au Vin (chicken in red wine). It was inspired by this recipe.

I didn't have all the herbs that the recipe called for, but what I did have was proper lardons - big mumma hunks of bacon in all their baconny goodness... I found that my local butcher cures his own organic freerange bacon and it is just heaven! Normally, this would be more effort than I would go to, but oh.... the taste is just so worth it... smoky and sweet and creamy and rich... just amazing.

The bacon was expensive, but worth it! That being said, you can use normal bacon and it will still be good :).

I've managed to remove some of the extra effort, steps and ingredients from the recipe while (I hope) retaining the original flavour and intent of the recipe. It is seriously awesome. It did take a while though - all told, it took 90 minutes from go to woe. But it made lunch for the week - so it's worth it.

Coq au Vin
You will need:
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 250 g bacon
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, excess fat trimmed, skin ON
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups red wine (I used cabernet savignon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 g button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
large saucepan
knife + cutting board
wooden spoon
measuring cup
paper towel
foil + roasting tray

  1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. While the bacon is blanching, turn on the oven to 160 C.

  3. Peel potatoes and sweet potatoes and chop into 3 cm cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Place in oven. The time it takes to cook the dish will result in perfect tender potatoes! They should be fine for up to an hour and forty five minutes.

  4. Drain bacon. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 2cm by 0.5 cm pieces.

  5. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven or saucepan with lid big enough to hold the chicken, for about 10 minutes. If bacon starts to stick, add a little olive oil.

  6. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken, skin side down.

  7. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken.)

  8. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock cubes, boiling water, wine, and bay leaves. Add back the bacon.

  9. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. (This took me more like 30 minutes). Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

  10. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. This took me about 15 minutes. Lower the heat, stir in the butter.

  11. Remove potatoes from oven.

  12. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve over roasted potato medly.

It was so yummy I ate it before I could photograph it!

Serves 6-8. This can also be served with potatoes or over gluten free egg noodles. Peas make a good side for this dish.

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