Saturday, 10 May 2014

Poule Au Vin (Coq Au Van)

Surely Coq Au Van  should be a cockerel? These days its usually chicken rather than cockerel as its easier to get hold of and easier to cook with, which i guess makes it chicken in (red) wine.
This method is roughly based on Elisabeth David's in French Provincal Cooking and what ever you decide to call it, it's very good and like a lot of slow cooked dishes is even better if cooked the day before.

First empty enough wine to cover your chicken into a sauce pan with a cup full of chicken or veg stock, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme.
Simmer until reduced by half, add botton mushrooms for the last five minutes, strain and discard the garlic, bay and thyme and reserve the mushrooms.
Fry some chopped bacon in a mix of oil and butter.
Add baby carrots and shallots either whole or halved and colour slightly.
Remove from pan and add to a casserole.
Raise the heat slightly and add seasoned chicken pieces skin side down and colour. Flambe in brandy (optional) and remove to the casserole.
Deglaze the pan with some of the wine mixture and add to the casserole with the rest of the wine reduction, a bay leaf and some fresh sprigs of thyme.
Cook on a medium low heat or in the oven until the chicken is cooked through.
Five minutes before the end of cooking return the mushrooms to the pan.
Traditionaly its served with fried bread, but rice or mash work well too.
Another alternative as suggested by E.D. is to serve a bowl of pasta after the chicken and veg for all the sauce.

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