Coq au vin

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Replace the chicken in the sauce, and add the shallots and mushrooms. Warm through for 10 min.
  9. Serve with some chunks of bread, or some plain, steamed tatties.

Through the steam

Through the steam

Originally uploaded by framboise.

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.

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