Phil’s – Coq Au Vin
Those that know me well will know that I like to experiment in the kitchen and when possible invite a group of friends round for dinner. I am a big fan of slow cooking which enables you to plan a dinner party, and also concentrate on hosting and conversation rather than hiding in the kitchen all evening.
I wanted to share my coq au vin recipe (complete with badly taken iphone pictures!). This is particularly good on a cold weekend as you can prep in the morning and then do your chores, or go for a nice long walk, and then come home to the aroma of fresh herbs cooked with organic chicken. I tend to adapt the recipe each time – why not give it a go and let me know how it tastes for you.
Phil’s tip – if you find that the sauce is not thick enough (especially after adding the wine) then add a couple more tea spoons of corn flour. The (not so) secret ingredient in this receipt is Schwartz’s steak and beef spice mix or poultry mix (from Schwartz in Montreal) which gives it an extra kick – http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/index_eng.html.
Pork substitute – If you do not eat pork then you can substitute it with parsnips; or nutty mushrooms cooked in butter until crispy, seasoned with a few fennel seeds.
Preparation time is only about 30 minutes (a little longer if you keep washing your hands in between taking very bad pictures on your iphone), and I suggest that you cook the chicken slowly for 6 hours.
- 1 red onion
- 3 carrots, chopped.
- 3 sticks of celery, chopped.
- 1 leek, chopped (controversial I know but I like them!)
- 150g button mushrooms, chopped in quarters.
- A few shallots (chopped or whole)
- *Bay leaf (optional)
- *Celeriac (optional)
- 100g organic bacon lardons
- 4 organic chicken thighs and drumsticks
- Good quality sea salt and organic pepper
- Liberal glugs of extra virgin olive oil
- Schwartz steak and beef spice mix/poultry mix
- Liberal sprinklings of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.
- 2 table spoons of organic tomato puree.
- ½ bottle of red wine (I suggest a good burgundy)
- 100ml chicken stock.
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves (depending on taste)
- Clean and chop up the vegetables and place them in the slow cooker. Save a handful of mushrooms, leek and onions to cook the pork lardons and the chicken.
- Add a liberal glug of extra virgin olive oil to two separate frying pans on a low heat.
- Divide the handful of mushrooms, leek and onions between both frying pans (to save time) with a little bit of garlic.
- Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make a small incision into each piece of chicken with a sharp knife (be careful!) and insert some slices of chopped garlic, and cook with the fresh rosemary (and thyme if you wish) until the meat is golden. Add a liberal sprinkling of Swartz.
- Add fresh rosemary to the pan containing the pork lardons and cook for around 6 minutes on medium heat until golden and the fat has run from the meat. Then gently scoop the remaining mix into slow cooker, being sure to keep the juices in the frying pan.
- Gently scoop the chicken into the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining garlic and tomato purée to the frying pan and heat for about 45 seconds on mid to high heat then add the red wine and boil. Then add the vegetable stock, and flour and a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then pour over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low setting for about six hours. Add a couple of table spoons of corn flour if necessary.
- Serve with freshly baked crusty bread and organic butter, and raise a glass of wine with friends.
As always remember to take out the bay leaf before serving, be careful of the chicken bones in the casserole, and make sure that your slow cooker is safety checked before using it.