cock ooh van (coq au vin)

Coq au vin, or chicken in wine, is another one of those dishes that i really look forward to in autumn and winter… you can cook it in a camp oven on a chilly night on the way to wolf creek… it can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to cook it for a shitload of friends… it actually benefits from being neglected for a few hours… it can be presented to your peasant friends or haute society in the same sitting… it’s… magic.

I will generally use chicken marylands for this dish because I really do love the moistness… he he. Moistness. But the traditional meat to use is rooster, and I can verify that if you have one you need to knock off, it couldn’t go to a better cause. I have also been told by a French chef friend of mine that if you want to step it up a notch further, you should use capon, a castrated rooster and not readily available probably anywhere besides France. I would also suggest that I don’t care what diet you’re on but now is not the time to be using chicken breast in place of the marylands either.

COQ AU VIN enough for 5-6 people

2kg free-range chicken marylands

250g bacon or speck, sliced or diced

500g eshallots or pickling onions (the little baby ones)

1kg mushrooms, a mix of button and swiss brown or king oyster or just whatever really, left whole if small and halved or quartered if a bit big

3 nice, ripe tomatoes, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bouquet garni

1 bottle red wine

500ml chicken or beef stock, yes, the stuff you have in the freezer

seasoning

cooked chat potatoes, chopped parsley and crusty bread (or soft, actually. Who am I to tell you what bread to eat) to serve.

Season the chicken and brown in a heavy based pot. Set aside. Now in the same pot brown the baby onions and bacon. Set aside. Now the mushrooms get the same treatment.

Now everything goes back into the pot with the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat to soften the garlic a little. Have a glass of wine and add the remainder to the pot. While you’re there you can chuck in the bouquet garni and stock. Cover the pot and let it simmer on a low heat for 1.5-2 hours, or, if your pot is a kickass oven proof beast, whack it in the oven at 160-170C for 2 or so hours. Just enough time to get well on the way to being jolly pissed.

Alright. Concentrate now. One more thing to do…

Strain all or most of the cooking juices into another pan and reduce over med-high heat until a bit thicker and almost saucy consistency. Now serve your coq, pour reduced juices over, parsley on top and plenty of bread of your choosing to mop up the juices. Fark yeah. That’s my idea of dinner.

Better check what Sammy’s up to I guess…

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