This month's first Barefoot Blogger recipe was Coq Au Vin, chosen by Bethany of this little piggy went to market (such a great name!). As anyone who reads this blog will know, I love chicken braises (in fact "place in oven for 30-40 minutes" must be one of my all time favourite directions in a recipe). No surprises then that this recipe ticks all the boxes for me. The chicken was tender, and full of flavour. It was an easily expandable recipe - at this time of year, it is not unusual to have an extra soul at the table - so I just bought a couple of extra chicken legs and cooked them in with the rest of the chopped chicken. We all loved it - even the children. And for non-wine drinkers - don't be put off. The wine just adds a depth of flavour but no identifiable "winey" taste.
My only ever so slight issue was with browning the chicken. I always wind up with most of the chicken skin stuck to the bottom of the pot. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Check out how all the other Barefoot Bloggers went here.
And on a personal note, December means the start of the Australian summer holidays. We will be travelling a bit and I will have only intermittent computer access, so Merry Christmas / Seasons Greetings / Happy New Year to all. Despite my best intentions, some posts are going to have to wait till January!
Coq Au Vin
from "Back to Basics" by Ina Garten
2 tablespoons good olive oil
120g good bacon or pancetta, diced
1 (1.5-2kg) chicken, cut in 8ths
250g carrots, cut diagonally in 3cm pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
1/2 bottle (375 ml) good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
250g frozen small whole onions (I couldn't find these, so I sauteed some small pickling onions in some oil and then added them)
250g cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 125C. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.
Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. In a medium saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.