17 February 2009

Perfect for those cold winter nights......

Coq au vin

This chicken in red wine dish traditionally uses older roosters because they contain a lot of connective tissue, which creates a richer broth when cooked and rooster blood to thicken the sauce at the end of cooking.
Serves 4.

Coq au vin
2 tbsp olive oil
90 gm butter, coarsely chopped at room temperature
1.6 kg free-range chicken, jointed
150 gm piece of pancetta, cut into 1 cm pieces
12 small pickling onions
125 ml (½ cup) brandy, warmed
750 ml (3 cups) Beaujolais
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
3 parsley stalks
2 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 small heads garlic, halved lengthways
1 tbsp plain flour
200 gm mixed small mushrooms such as pine, Swiss brown and button, trimmed
¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Mashed potato
1 kg desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil and 20gm butter in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes, turning until golden, then transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add pancetta and onions and cook for 5 minutes or until golden, drain off excess fat. Return chicken to pan, pour over brandy and ignite with a long match. When flames are extinguished, add wine, stock, herbs and garlic and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and place in oven for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Transfer chicken, onions and pancetta to a warm dish, cover with foil and keep warm.
2.Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve, discarding herbs and garlic. Heat sauce in clean casserole over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Combine flour and 20gm butter into a paste, whisk into sauce and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
3. Meanwhile, heat 50gm butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until golden, season to taste and set aside.
4. For mashed potato, cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender, drain and pass through a potato ricer into saucepan, add butter and cream, season to taste and stir to combine.
5. To serve, return chicken, pancetta, onions and mushrooms to sauce and cook for 5 minutes, turning to coat and warm through. Serve chicken and sauce scattered with parsley, with mashed potato on the side.

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