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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coq au Vin - Chicken & Wine French Style

Coq au Vin is that classic French dish you are bound to have heard of no matter where you are.  Simply put, it is chicken cooked in red wine and once again this is not a dish you can decide to make impromptu as it requires an overnight marinating of the chicken.  Another celebrity chef showcased his version of this dish on French Food Safari and this time it was Melbourne based Jacques Reymond.  Inspired by the recipe and by it's utter ease in preparation I decided to start the marinating process the night before and left it for my dad (who has never cooked a French dish in his life) to finish it off.  Expecting it to be a complex task he reluctantly accepted the job of finishing doubtful of his own abilities in the cuisine de France.  

The recipe that follows is once again my adaptation of Jacques' dish, amending it a slight bit to make it easier still.  The result a very full flavoured chicken dish with bite.  The vegetables are beautifully cooked and resonate the deep red wine that they have marinated in.

2kg Chicken Pieces
1 x 750ml Bottle Red Wine
250ml x Port Wine
2 x Celery Sticks, chopped
2 x Carrots, cut into batons
1 x Beetroot, cut into cubes
2 x Red Onions, diced
6 x Garlic Cloves, chopped
5 x Sprigs of Thyme
2tbsp x Sugar
1tbsp x Black Peppercorns
3 x Bay Leaves

1/4 Cup x Flour
Oil to Shallow Fry
125ml x Beef Stock
50ml x Red Wine Vinegar

4 - 5 Bacon Rashers
500g Mushrooms left whole
Parsley to garnish
Rigatoni Pasta served al dente

In a heavy pot combine all marinade ingredients
Cover with a lid and leave in the fridge overnight
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry
Heat a little oil in a frypan 
Dust the flour over the chicken to cover evenly
Lightly fry the chicken in the oil and brown all over
Place the pot with the marinade on to the heat and bring to the boil
Add the browned chicken pieces and stock to cover
Pour in the red wine vinegar and stir to combine
Replace lid and reduce heat to low
Cook for 30 minutes then remove from the heat
To make garnish fry bacon for 3 minutes then add mushrooms and saute for a further 2 minutes
Garnish with the parsley and reserve until serving

An optional part here is to thicken the sauce in the main dish by adding chicken livers.  As I had already made a chicken liver pate this week I used a couple of tablespoons combined with a little warm water and stirred through the Coq au Vin.
To serve place a helping of the Coq au Vin on al dente Rigatoni Pasta and top with the mushroom and bacon garnish.
Serve immediately with a glass of Red Wine (what else?) 

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