Thursday, January 26, 2006

Coq au Vin

I love how food changes depending on the length of time it cooks. Especially with something stewlike, like this. What seems unpromising half way through can transform with slow cooking.

I took Delia's advice and cooked to after the first simmer*, then left if to marinate overnight. The next day I finished it off, and then left it in a cool oven for about half an hour before we ate it. That last half hour seemed to make everything gel together and it was deeply rich and dark. And just so delicious.


One chicken jointed, or 8 pieces
1¼ pints (725 ml) red wine (just less than a bottle)
1 oz (25g) butter
8 oz (225t) unsmoked streaky bacon cut into bits (best if it’s one pieces cut into chunks, or pancetta bits from the supermarket
16 button onions
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
8 oz (225g) small mushrooms
1 rounded tblspn softened butter and 1 level tblspn plain flour, mushed together to make a paste
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan, and fry the chicken joints, skin side down, until they are golden; then turn them and colour the other side. You may have to do this in three or four batches – don't overcrowd the pan. Remove the joints from the pan with a draining spoon, and place them in the cooking pot. This should be large enough for the joints to be arranged in one layer yet deep enough so that they can be completely covered with liquid later.

Now de-rind and cut the bacon into fairly small cubes, brown them also in the frying pan and add them to the chicken, then finally brown the onions a little and add them too.

Next place the crushed cloves of garlic and the sprigs of thyme among the chicken pieces, season with freshly milled pepper and just a little salt, and pop in a couple of bay leaves.

Pour in the wine, put a lid on the pot and simmer gently for 45-60 minutes * or until the chicken is tender. During the last 15 minutes of the cooking, add the mushrooms and stir them into the liquid.

Remove the chicken, bacon, onions and mushrooms and place them on a warmed serving dish and keep warm. (Discard the bay leaves and thyme at this stage.) Now bring the liquid to a fast boil and reduce it by about one third. Next, add the butter and flour paste to the liquid. Bring it to the boil, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened, then serve the chicken with the sauce poured over. If you like, sprinkle some chopped parsley over the chicken and make it look pretty.

Delia recommends starting this the day before you want to eat it. Just cook for the first half an hour and then leave the chicken to marinade in it's juices overnight then carry on.

This recipe is taken from Saint Delia ’s Complete Cookery Course,


At 10:01 PM, Blogger Zoozan said...

just checking

At 9:14 PM, Blogger WDKY said...

One track mind.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Mine is a Gin said...

As much as Saint D annoys the hell out of me, her recipes are spot-on!

At 11:49 AM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

I swear I'm going to try cooking one day. Really I am!


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