For Christmas Eve ‘C’ and I decided to just be on our own and celebrate our first real Christmas together. We wanted to make something special for dinner, but neither of us felt too inclined on any of the usual Christmas fare – really, making a turkey is just too ambitious (and too gluttonous) for the both of us!
I was flipping through my recipe notebook and came across my mother’s recipe for Coq au vin – sold! This is one of the most simplest dishes to make, yet it sounds quite complex (possibly due to its French name!) but most importantly it’s incredibly delicious! If you think about it, there is no way it can’t be delicious…its a dish based on bacon, chicken, mushrooms and wine!!
Serves 4-6. What you need:
- 1.5 kg chicken (I would suggest to use just drumsticks and thigh as I find the breast too dry – but this is a preference thing!)
- Salt and white pepper for seasoning
- 200g smocked bacon, cut into small strips
- 20 pearl onion (aka button onion, baby onion) However, i couldn’t find any pearl onions when i was looking so i used regular onions cut in wedges.
- box of champignon mushrooms, quartered (the usual size you buy at a supermarket)
- 4-5 dl water (1dl = 100ml)
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 3 tbls tomato puree
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 bayleaf
- 3 tbls all purpose flower
- 4 dl red wine (whisk the flower into the wine)
- 1 dl cream
- parsley, finely chopped
1. Trim the chicken of any unnecessary fat – I always keep the skin on, as I belive this is where all the flavour is and helps keep the chicken moist – however again this is my preference. Season the chicken with salt and white pepper and then brown all the pieces of chicken in a frying pan with butter. To ensure that all your chicken pieces get that lovely golden colour do not crowd your frying pan, instead brown them in a couple of batches. Place the browned chicken into a large cooking pot.
2. Put the quartered mushrooms, the pearl onions, tomato puree, pressed garlic, bay leaf and the chicken stock cube (crumbled in) into the large pot together with the chicken and bacon. As mentioned above I couldn’t find pearl onions in the supermarket, so I used 1.5 large white onions which I cut into wedges and the end result was just as good (but not as visually pleasing perhaps).
3. Pour in the water (I used 5dl) and try to mix all the ingredients together so that the tomato puree loosens up slightly. Let the water come to a simmer and then add the wine and flour mixture. This is a tip that my mother gave me as it ensures that the sauce does not become lumpy – just make sure that you have whisked the flower properly in the wine.
4. Let everything simmer gently for about 1 hour. I would do a stir and taste check about 30mins into cooking. I felt that I had to add a teaspoon of two of sugar to get that lovely rounded taste.
5. Just before you take the pot off the heat, pour in the cream and stir. Sprinkle the finely chopped parsley generously over the dish and you can serve it with potato, rice or even pasta.
There you have it – a very simple dish yet it wins every time!! At this point I really should have a final picture of my lovely Coq au Vin, piled ontop of a beutiful mound of white rice – however, this blogging business is still new to me, and the thought never entered my mind! You will just have to take my word for it!
- Recipe: 30-Minute Coq au Vin (thekitchn.com)