My parents had coq au vin for dinner again; my dad gloats via email whenever they have something extra tasty. So I decided to cook that free range bird in our fridge in some red wine too. A quick search at epicurious yielded several recipes, of which I picked this one. Some modifications had to be made (due to lack of ingredients as usual), so I present my version below. I omitted the bacon as I like to save it for spicing up dull veg dishes with (e.g. brussel sprouts and that g*d-awful veg box staple, kale). It seems a waste to stick it into an already rich dish. Also, I omitted the overnight marinating step ‘cos Wed is jewellery night, and we couldn’t possibly leave the bird in the fridge till Thurs.
- 1 medium free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2x wings, drumsticks, thighs, breast) (or just 6 legs)
- 1 bottle (75cl) dry red wine; no Burgundy on the rack, so used a Cabernet Sauvignon I find a little dull to drink
- 2 onions, halved and sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 4 celery sticks, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 shallots (or more if you have them; I only had 4)
- 125g mushrooms, sliced
- a small knob of butter (guesstimated at 10-15g)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 wine glass of port
- 1-2 tbsp plain flour
- Place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan, and submerge completely with a whole bottle of red wine (the contents of… not the bottle itself…). Add the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves. Leave to marinate overnight.
- When ready to cook, take the chicken pieces out and drain on some kitchen towels. Brown the chicken in a tablespoon of oil, and replace in the marinade.
- Bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer once b.p. is reached. Cook un-lidded for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender and almost falling off the bone.
- While the chicken is cooking, blanch the shallots in boiling water for 3 min. Drain and dry, then fry in some butter with the mushrooms. Set aside.
- When the chicken is tender, remove from the cooking liquid and set aside. Separate the veggies from the liquid and put aside if you like eating wine-flavoured veggies (nice, but not to everyone’s taste).
- Add a glass of port to the cooking liquid and season. We use “Good with everything” herb salt mix ‘cos the pot has lasted forever, and has a pleasant mix of lavender and rosemary.
- Whisk in the flour. I reckon one heaped tablespoon should do the trick. Let it bubble away for 10-15 min, whisking/stirring to prevent a skin from forming. If you’re thinking of skimping on time, just make sure it no longer tastes of flour.
- Replace the chicken in the sauce, and add the shallots and mushrooms. Warm through for 10 min.
- Serve with some chunks of bread, or some plain, steamed tatties.
On the football front, dull match with a lot of mid-field too-ing and fro-ing. Had a mini heart attack on Gudjohnson’s strike in injury time (6 minutes! good grief!). And we’re through to the European final! I can’t believe we’re going through on such dull play… And that I was quite wrong to be pessmistic about Liverpool’s chances of even getting to the final. Lifelong Liverpool fan that I am, I still reckon Everton should be given their shot at the European Championship if (when) they finish 4th. Not that my opinion counts since I’m not even a Liverpudlian.