23 February 2009

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.

2 February 2009

Eymet - Key Events/Dates for 2009

Key events and dates for 2009 are as follows:

Nature festival Sunday, May 17th Information :

Fauna & Flora festival 5th edition From May 30th till June 7th 2008 In the south of Dordogne, in Bergerac Country, The towns of Eymet, Puyguilhem (Thénac), Sigoulès, Cunèges et Saussignac give a warm welcome to the Art Caravan. Artists from all corners of Aquitaine are coming to present their creations on plants and animals, through diverse techniques (paint, sculpture, photos, videos, sounds..)Full of poetry and very entertaining for the whole family and public of all ages.Opening hour : Every day from 2pm till 7pmInformation : 06 10 16 47 27

Randonnée en Fête Sunday, June 14thWalking trail 15 km. Departure in front of the Office of Tourism 9am. Free and for the whole family.Information :

Night Markets Every tuesday from june 30th till September 2nd

More than 60 professional stalls.Food available on siteStarts 7pm, Place de la Bastide.Info :

The "Afro-Latines" Festival 2009 Friday, july 4th and saturday, july 5th Information : info

Medieval journey throught the Dropt Valley Friday, august 7th : Conference Saturday, august 8th : Walk with torchlight, 10pm in front of the Office of tourism. Sunday, august 9th : pageants, workshops, market, games, and banquet with show in the evening.Informations :

The "Other" Festival Saturday, august 22nd and sunday, august 23rdMusic, live entertaining, video, workshops for kidsFood available on site.In Fonroque, between, Eymet and Bergerac.

"Le Pays des Bastides" celebrates its 10 years From monday, september 14th to sunday, september 27thPhotographies exhibition and many events. Information :

European Heritage Days Saturday, september 19th and Sunday, september 20thInformation :

For more information on events please refer to the calandar on the eymetguide:

http://www.ledropt.com/whatson2_09_feb.html then select the month that you are interested in.

After the storm.............

I guess that most of you have heard about the storms that affected SW France, there were winds up to 140kms an hour which combined with heavy rain resulted in a lot of flooding and damage to land and buildings.

Most villages in the area were affected in some way or another - most villages were without power which is a scarey thought in this day and age as we all rely heavily on electricity. It was a rather humbling experience as it makes you realise how much you take running water and electricity for granted.

Here are some links to some storm articles:



A bientot