Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Made With Real Cocoa

So, you've tried my "Hunter-Style" braised chicken and you're ready for the next stage. Right? Yeah. So I like to think. Should I bother posting a Coq au Vin recipe that nobody will ever make? Well of course I should.

What's funny to me is how easy this dish is to make and the reluctance to make it. First you need to ask yourself one question? No, not "Do I feel lucky?" How about "Do I feel nervous about searing some chicken, adding some basic vegetables, adding wine and stock and slowly braising it"? If the answer is a "I dunno" or "What's braising?", well, then perhaps trying that french restaurant downtown might be next on your to-do list. Or maybe just getting the 14 pc. bucket of chicken instead.

It is a tasty little dish that can be made in advance and kept warm until you serve. The alcohol evaporates leaving you with the flavour of the wine so you can serve it to your kids or your pregnant sister-in-law.

There are no tricks. No secrets. No nifty techniques. You won't even need your crock pot that you never use. Just trust me.

Coq au Vin
2 Chicken Thighs
2 Chicken Drumsticks
2 Chicken Breasts, cut in half
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 White Onion, finely diced
250 g Mushrooms, sliced
200 ml Chicken Stock
50 g All Purpose Flour
400 ml Red Wine (not white! unless that's all you got)
2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme, chopped
A Few Whole Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
50g Butter

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a wide pot, on medium high heat, brown chicken in a bit of oil. Remove chicken and set aside. Add a little butter and add mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for one minute. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, peppercorns and wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken and cover.

Place pot into oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven, add thyme and remainder of the butter.

Reduce sauce for 10 minutes on stove top and serve.

Serves 4.

Variations: Classically, this dish might have been made with bacon (my God, bacon again) and pearl onions. Well, if you feel decadent this weekend then be my guest.

Chef's Common Sense Tip: Make sure the handle of your pot is not plastic and make sure it can withstand the heat of the oven. Sounds silly but I've had people ask me.

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