Gil (Owen Wilson in the best interpretation of chicken-legged Woody Allen since the auteur himself) believes there is nowhere finer than Paris, at night, in the rain. He and his fiancée Inez thought they were just hitching a visit with her parents to the city of light. Instead, when the clock strikes midnight Gil gets whisked away to the Paris of writer’s and artist’s fantasies.
This coq au vin is exactly the kind of dish that could get me out of bed at midnight. The taste takes you straight to Paris. The flavours are soothing enough to heal if you can’t scrounge up the witty banter to play with Hemingway. The texture is as gentle as this plot. And frankly, it’s a better use for a bottle of burgundy than bleating about its merits on a balcony with Michael Sheen.
Coq au Vin
Serves: 6 – 8
1 dutch oven. 1 fry pan
750ml Red Burgundy
25 g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken marylands (thighs and legs attached)
3 chicken legs
3 chicken thighs
4 cloves garlic, chopped
12 shallots/ small onions, peeled and left whole
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
250g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
125 g lardons
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the butter and oil in a dutch oven. Add the chicken in batches and brown for 8-10 minutes until brown.
2. Add the garlic, shallots, herbs, wine and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Remove the chicken pieces and check the sauce. You may have to skim off some of the fat (you can do this by letting it cool and scooping it from the top or by dabbing at the top of the sauce with paper towel). Depending on how tannic the wine was you may want to add a tablespoon of sugar. Then turn up the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.
4. In a separate fry pan fry the mushrooms and the lardons in a tablespoon of olive oil until brown. Add the chicken pieces, mushrooms and lardons back to the the sauce and top with chopped parsley.
5. Serve over a puree of white beans, mashed potato or on its own with baguette pieces to dip in the sauce.