Coq au Vin
Last week, Britain experienced the biggest freeze of the century. Snow has caused misery to a lot of people and it has paralysed the country. It did snow in London but wasn’t as bad as last year. We barely got more than 5cm of snow in London, which I was kind of disappointed as I was hoping to build a snowman, haha! This winter is probably the coldest I have ever experienced in London since 2004. I have been wearing my goose down jacket, ushanka (Russian hat), gloves and knee-high boots. Sometimes, it’s freezing that my face is numb with cold! Below is an image taken by Nasa’s Terra satellite on 7 January 2010 shows the UK deep in the clutches of the current cold snap.
Soup had been on our menu for the past weeks. Just when it was so cold, my mind was telling me to cook a big pot coq au vin. Coq au vin is a classic french dish of chicken cooked in red wine with lardons (bacon), button mushrooms, and carrots. It is one of the all time classic bistro dishes and home cooking. There are so many versions of coq au vin. Whichever version you use, the basics remain the same for this dish.
Boeuf bourguignon is probably what comes to your mind after looking at coq au vin. These 2 dishes do share similarities – both use red wine, along with bacon, onion, bouquet garni, mushrooms, and carrots. In preparation of coq au vin, I have learnt a few tips:
1) Use good quality of full-bodied red wine
2) The main ingredient is the cockerel, if not able to have access to this full-flavoured bird, then buy a good quality of chicken, preferably free range
3) Marinate the chicken a night before to have succulent meat
4) The sauce is as important as the chicken, it should be thick, dark in colour, and glossy. Thicken the sauce with ‘beurre manie’ method.
I bought a whole chicken and joint the chicken. If you are not sure, you can refer to this link for a step by step guide. As you could imagine, the big bird would have very meaty breast. I decided not to put them in my stew as I personally think that it could be too fibrous and dry. Since there were some extra chicken leg portions in the freezer, I substituted the breast with the leg portions to be cooked with other parts of the whole chicken that I had cut into portions. I reckon with stew dish like this, cooking the meat with bones tends to be tastier.
This recipe gets my thumbs up and we are going to finish the remaining tonight. 🙂 Bon Appétit!
For the Coq au Vin:
2 x 1.6kg chicken
1 bottle red wine
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
250g bacon, diced
20 pearl onions
250g button mushrooms
1 tsp oil
30g plain flour
1l chicken stock
2 tsp tomato paste
1.5 tbsp softened butter
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Joint each chicken into 8 pieces by removing both legs and cutting between the joint of the drumsticks and the thigh. Cut down either side of the backbone and lift it out. Turn the chicken over and cut through the cartilage down the centre of the breastbone. Cut each breast in half, leaving the wing attached to the top half.
2. Put the wine, bay leaves, thyme and some salt and pepper in a bowl and add the chicken. Cover and leave to marinate, preferably overnight.
3. Sauté the bacon in a frying pan until golden. Lift out onto a plate. Melt a quarter of the butter in the pan, add the onions and sauté until browned. Lift out and set aside.
4. Melt another quarter of butter, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
5. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat the chicken dry. Season. Add the remaining butter and the oil to the frying pan, add the chicken and sauté until golden.
6. Stir in the flour. Transfer the chicken to a large saucepan or casserole dish and add the stock. Pour the brandy into the frying pan and boil, stirring, for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan. Pour over the chicken. Add the marinade, onions, mushrooms, bacon and tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.
7. If the sauce needs thickening, lift out the chicken and vegetables and bring the sauce to the boil. Mix together the butter and flour to make a beurre manié and whisk into sauce. Boil, stirring, for 2 minutes until thickened. Add the parsley and return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce.
Looks great. Good warm food can heat up any cold winter day.
Thanks for dropping by! Definitely need this kind of food at during this time of the year! 🙂
I cooked this before, and it turned out really awful!! Yours looks soooo good!!!! Is it possible to use less wine if I don't like the taste of alcohol to be too strong? Keep warm, dearie!
I believe your can lessen the amount of alcohol. And probably put more of the chicken stock instead. To be honest, I used a whole bottle of red wine and I was not drunk.. ahha just joking… but the alcohol smell isn't that strong.
Will keep warm 🙂
u could try Julia Child version…mine came out fantastic!
It's certainly a great meal to enjoy in this freezing weather. stay safe and keep warm!
Yup!! I will do!
I like this chicken. Still remember the last time I had this when I worked as a kitchen staff
This definite is a dish to for me when it's freezing cold outside.. 🙂 Classic, rusty and yummy!
I prefer your version quite frankly……Love the color!!
Oh yes I did think it was a Beouf Bourguinonne for a moment there! Lovely styling and photographs and I hope you're keeping warm 🙂
I have to admit that they look very similar..
Thanks for your compliment.. and yes, am keeping myself warm.. It's the opposite for you, to keep cool all the time 🙂
i love coq au vin and make this often – the recipe i have is very similar to yours so i can say with certainty THIS IS AWESOME!
Thanks Meeta! So, you are one of coq au vin fans too.. yey!
This looks amazing… Last time I tried using so much wine, my dish turned out bitter ..sob
Thanks for dropping by! Maybe you should cut down the wine, depending on the size of your chicken.
Perfect recipe for this cold weather. We had a lot of snow last weekend in Brittany, impossible to use cars! It's still very cold, so I stay at home, or I use …my feets!!!
Je suis d'accord! Yeah, I heard that in France there was lots of snow!! It's still cold here too… and it snowed last night..so it was really pretty this morning.. ehheeh
The best part of the coq au vin is the leftovers the next day. Stay warm!!
I totally agree!
The perfect comfort food – looks delicious!
It is very cold here too. Like you it will be stew and soup for us. I wanted to cook coq au vin for the longest time but never get to do it yet . Maybe it is time since you have the recipe here 🙂
Soup is good.. keep us warm!! Try this recipe, it is real good! Even the Frenchman says so 😉
this soup looks like its bursting with flavor!
Nice pic… and keep warm…
I am working.
Wish I get them now
This is perfect for the very cold weather you are experiencing now 🙂 The dish looks fantastic and stay very warm please !
Definitely… I will keep warm!
Wow, both soups look just delicious. And I love your photography style too! It's so hot back here, how I wish some of your cold wind could be blown this way.
Is it really warm?? I wish it gets warmer here a little..
I like to have one bowl of this, looks super duper yummy!
Thanks for dropping by and your comment! 🙂
My French in laws make this quite often and it's always delicious. Yours looks fantastic. 🙂
Thanks!! I love this dish a lot!!
wow it looks great! Thanks for the tips, will be doing this soon…burrr…
Thanks!! 🙂 Keep warm!
This looks great. The chicken looks so moist and tender. Reminds me that I haven't made this for ages ..
Thanks for dropping by and your comment! It's great to know another blogger. 🙂
Yes, this is the coldest winter! I had experienced -22 deg in my town. I could even feel ice in my nose when I walked.
Gosh! I have never experienced -22 deg yet! I can't image how cold that was!
I bet this chicken dish must taste good!! I never cook this type of western chicken dish b4,must try one day soon after get all the ingredients!! oh!! got your message via FB!! hope you enjoy it! sorry this day I'm in hiatus (Kdrama) ! hahaha!
Yes, it was absolutely great for the winter. Kdrama huh.. hehe
It looks marvelous and so tasty! Perfect when it’s freezing cold outside.
We’ve had some snow, but less than last year. This time though, the temperatures are really polar (-11° C) and the wind is blowing like hell.
Wow -11° C!! I haven’t experience that extreme of cold. It is about -1° C outside now! It’s nice when it snows and sets. 🙂