Sunday, 5 January 2014

Coq Au Vin

Now winter has truly taken hold this is the time I like to make those comforting winter dishes. Stews and casseroles are very easy to make and take up hardly anytime at all.
Usually I like to chuck everything into the slow cooker and let it bubble away whilst I'm at work. Today however I started cooking too late for a slow cooking method.

So after looking at chicken casserole recipe's on the Internet Coq Au Vin seemed to fit the bill, aside from the prep you will have your casserole in around one and a half hours. I love french cooking and anything simmered in wine is a winner for me so Coq Au Vin it was. 

There are many different versions out there but they all use the similar holy trinity of veg, Onion, carrot and celery along with bacon or Pancetta and wine, very similar to Beef bourguignon. A stew doesn't have to be followed to the letter for example if the recipe calls for one carrot and you have three use them ! This is what I did with this recipe which is loosely based on a Nigel Slater recipe. You can view this here.
I Just added what I had left in my fridge. So here is how I made my Coq Au Vin. 

Have a go it's delicious. 

1 whole chicken cut into six pieces, you should get 2 breasts, two thighs with drummers attached, two wings.
40g Butter 
130g Cubed Pancetta 
1 large onion roughly chopped
3 Carrots 1 diced the other two roughly chopped ( for texture) 
3 Celery sticks roughly chopped
2 fat cloves garlic sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp spoons of Cognac
1 bottle of Burgundy wine 
Couple of bay leaves and a couple of sprigs of Thyme
Shallots however many you want
Large handful of mushrooms 

Start by chopping all your vegetables and weighing out your butter and flour.

Next joint your whole chicken into various cuts . The carcass can be used for stock so there is no waste.

Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

In a large casserole pan melt half the butter and fry the Pancetta until it's just starting to turn golden then lift out of the pan and set aside.

Add your chicken to the pan and cook till the skin is a light pale golden colour then turn and cook the other side. This should only take a couple of minutes each side.

 Remove the chicken pieces  from the pan and set aside with the Pancetta. 

Next add your onion, carrots and celery to the pan and cook gently till the onions go slightly translucent

By now the base of your casserole pan will start to develop sticky brown bits, this is normal and where Much of the flavour will come from. At this point add your garlic and cook for a minute longer.

In a separate pan add the remainder of the butter and colour your mushrooms and shallots.

Return your Chicken and Pancetta to the casserole pan and add the flour, cook for a minute then add your Cognac and wine. Give the whole pan a stir scrapping as much of the sticky bits of the base and sides of the pan as you can. 

Add the herbs , Mushrooms and Shallots. 

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover your casserole pan with a tight fitting lid. Let the casserole simmer away for around one hour. 

After one hour check if the chicken is cooked through , if it is lift out and set aside. 
Turn the heat up under the sauce and reduce by half, then return the chicken. 

I served the Coq Au Vin with creamy mash potatoes and Brussel tops. 

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