Thursday, January 11, 2007

Coq au vin

in this case transgendered to Poule au vin.
Upon reminiscing devilled eggs and salmon spread, this classic also came to mind, think retro! One of the dishes I used to make when the kids were small and we had friends with kids over for dinner. Easy on the palate, everyone is allowed to use their hands, kids eat chicken and no sauce, adults can have seconds and sauce, easily made in large quantities, almost all of the job can be done the day before, it'll only get better and, as an extra bonus; you will have a large amount of gorgeous rich dark sauce to set off any vegetable stew during the coming days.

As good as it is, it went back in the books as being a done-that, been-there kind of dish. Hmm, time to dust the large dutch oven and cook up a wonderful batch of chicken in the pot.
This time I used:

-olive oil
- knob of butter
- 250 gr (1 cup) pancetta or bacon, cut in small strips
- 5 chicken thighs
- 10 shallots, peeled and halved
- a medium carrot, diced
- two or three celery stalks, strips
- 4 garlic cloves (flattened with a broad knife)
- thyme and rosemary (two or three each, use fresh!)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bottle Lambrusco*
(don't ask, it was there to be used but I advise some full-bodied red wine)
- 2 tbs cognac
- 250 gr button mushrooms
- salt and pepper

beurre manié: 1 heaped tbs soft butter mixed with 1 heaped tbs flour

*note: I substituted some of the wine with mushroom stock made from cubes I brought home from Italy

Put the bacon, together with the oil and butter, into a Dutch oven (Creuset/Cousances, something thick-bottomed cast iron) and let cook over medium heat. Stir every once in a while, the stripes need to lose fat and get golden brown. Lift with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set apart. In the reserved fat in the pan, sweat your carrot and celery for 5 minutes or so.
Leave this in, and place the seasoned chicken parts on the bottom of the pan, don’t stack! Brown the pieces carefully, these too need to get a nice brown colour, don’t overdo it, you don’t need chestnut, honey will be fine!

Slotted spoon again, lift all chicken and veggies out and loosen all the flavours stuck to the bottom of the pan by browning the onions slowly. They will loose some liquid and thereby making a marriage of flavours, add garlic as well. Return chicken, vegetables and bacon, place herbs here and there, and finally pour in the wine (stock) and cognac. See to it that the chicken is covered in liquid. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down, cover (but not completely) and let simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the meat. Adding the mushrooms 15 minutes before end of cooking time.

I like to reduce the sauce and make it somewhat thicker and I think, more flavourful. So lift out the chicken, turn the heat up and let reduce to let’s say 3/4 of the amount. You could thicken the sauce by adding the beurre manié but watch out for lumps. Always “make a family” by adding spoonfuls of liquid to the bowl with beurre manié, stirring to even out lumps and then add to the sauce. Whisk and let cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Return chicken or spoon over chicken on the plate. Enjoy!
Lovely with mashed potatoes, some greens, good bread and or a decent salad.

I know, I know, this looks....umpffg! How on earth can you make this look good on photos?

We had some great potatoe/sprout mash with this. Our annual Brussels sprout feast? Check!


  1. Retro is good.
    Lambrusco is good.
    Some things are just a challenge to photograph but are still yummy to eat!

  2. beat me to the punch, as i was going to reach out and say hello! i sure wish blogger had an direct email function so you didn't have to write emails in the comments section, but oh well. yes, duindoorn jam; whenever i've had it it's always been from a natuurwinkel, i think the 'demeter' brand makes one and there is also a really, really super lekker bio duindoorn/sinasappel yoghurt too! how do you get your little logo on your pics? that's pretty cool.
    ciao, Mari

  3. I can imagine how great it tastes Karen!

    I was wondering - do you have any experience of the 'braadpannen' from the Hema? I want a Le Creuset but I really can't justify the cost, so was wondering if the Hema ones are good?


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