Coq au Vin

 

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Coq au Vin is considered one of the all-time classic French recipes. Presumably, the original recipe called for Rooster, as the translation of the dish’s name is “Rooster in wine” but today it’s very much considered a chicken dish. This one-pot wonder is a delightful concoction of browned chicken, red wine sauce with salty pork lardons and mushrooms.

The best thing about this dish is that it tastes even better the day after you’ve cooked it because all the ingredients steep together overnight, making it a perfect dish to prepare in advance for guests or a busy week ahead.

More traditional recipes call for Burgundy wine, but I chose to make this recipe with Shiraz as I feel it gives the sauce more depth of flavour. There are some regions in France that use white wine for Coq au Vin, so really, you can feel free to experiment with your favourite grape variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 free range chicken, around 2 kg and cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 litre red wine (I used shiraz but burgundy or Bordeaux are also popular choices)
  • 1 Bouquet garni (Make a fresh one from thyme, parsley and bay leaves – no pre-made teabags!)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 small glass cognac or brandy

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Method:

  1. Put the chicken pieces into a deep cooking pot. I like to use my Le Creuset Round French Oven for slow cooking.
  2. Add the celery, bouquet garni, brown onion, carrots, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, cognac and red wine. Leave to marinate for 5-6 hours or overnight in a cool spot in the kitchen.

For the Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g unsalted butter or duck fat
  • 40g plain flour
  • 4 slice pork belly rashers, diced or cut into Lardons
  • 350g button mushroom, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 brown onion, diced

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Method:

  1. Take the chicken out of the marinade, discard the vegetables and pour the remaining wine into a jug.
  2. Place the cooking pot on high heat and add the olive oil and butter (or duck fat). Place the chicken into the pot and seal on all side until golden brown. Remove from the pot and keep aside.
  3. Add the onion and lardons to the pot and cook until slightly brown.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the onion and lardons and slowly add the wine while whisking. Whisk well to make sure everything is mixed through.
  5. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours on a low heat with the lid on but slightly open to let the steam out.
  6. Heat up a non-stick frying pan without anything in it. Add the mushroom and cook until they stop releasing water. Add them the pot ½ hour before the end of cooking.

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Side:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch purple Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch white Baby Dutch carrots, peeled
  • 12 Kipflers potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut in half

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Herb de Provence and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

I suggest you serve the coq au Vin with a fresh crusty baguette and a glass of EVOI Cabernet Sauvignon available from Airoldi Fine Wines.

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel  here for more.

 

Roasted chicken with spring vegetables and a Pinos Blanc Jus

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Spring Chicken | Le Fermier

In this day and age, when you can buy a roast chicken in every supermarket, why would anyone bother going to the effort of cooking a fresh chook at home? I mean, who has the time to cook at home when the supermarket option is so quick and healthy, right? And the fact that it’s been sitting under the heat lamps in the deli section on the bain marie since 4pm that day surely won’t mean it will be dry and tasteless by the time you get it home, right?

What if I told you, you could make a fresh, healthy and succulent roasted chicken at home without having to wait the 2 hours it normally takes a chicken to roast? Well, I’m telling you, you can!

The brilliance and simplicity of this cheat’s chicken dish is that instead of cooking the bird whole, you cut it into smaller pieces while it’s still raw and smaller pieces = shorter cooking time. We also seal the meat in a pan before it goes into the oven. This also shortens the cooking time and means you still get that golden crispy skin you get from oven roasting for a long time.

Speaking of skin, I know there are two very distinct camps when it comes to this. Whether you like to eat you’re chicken with or without skin, I recommend you leave it on for this cooking process and then do as you will once it’s on your plate.

The garnish for this dish is really any in-season vegetables that you love, which are simply roasted on the same tray as your chicken once it goes into the oven. I chose to use dutch carrots, artichoke hearts (très delicieux!), sweet potato and red onion.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 small size sweet potatoes
  • 2 bunches baby dutch carotts
  • 5 globe artichokes
  • 2 spanish onions
  • 5 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch thyme

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces (about 12 or so) with a sharp knife.
  3. Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  4. Place a large frying pan on medium heat and place a small knob of coconut oil into the pan to melt.
  5. Place the chicken pieces into the pan in small lots so as not to overfill the pan and seal the chicken just until it becomes golden and crispy around the outside
  6. Set this first lot of chicken aside and repeat the above step until you’ve sealed all the chicken
  7. In the meantime, start prepping your veggies. The shape is really up to you. I choose to leave my carrots whole, dice my sweet potatoes, quarter my artichoke hearts and cut my onions in wedges. With the artichoke you’ll need to take off the leaves, the little bit of fluff inside and also the green part of the stems.
  8. Once you’ve sealed all the chicken pieces, arrange them in a roasting tray and arrange the spring vegetables around it. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and place into the tray whole. Take the thyme leaves off the sprig and sprinkle over the chicken and vegetables.
  9. Deglaze your pan with about 200 ml of Pinos blanc or even a Sauvignon blanc. By that I mean pour the wine into the pan and let it simmer on low heat for a minute to fuse all the delicious flavours together. Then, pour it over the chicken and put the tray in the oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. You’ll know your chicken is ready if the meat falls from the bone when pressed gently. Voilà! Your chicken is ready! I recommend a lovely glass of chilled Pinos Blanc to go with it.

Bon Appétit,

Le Fermier

Country Terrine

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Terrine and patés have been around for a very long time. Egyptians used to fatten geese with dried figs and use their fat oozing organs like the liver for example to make patés and terrine. Paté became very popular in France  around the 15th  century. By the 16th century the fattened goose liver paté, paté de Perigeux paté de la Contades was very popular. The pate de La Contades originaly contained no truffle until 1789 when a chef from the Perigord in the south west of France arrived in Strasbourg and introduced the concept which still continues today. Patés are a spreadable paste of meat, herbs, spices, wine or liquor and served with toast for texture. Terrine is a glazed terracotta mould  often of oval shape. Terrine mixture are chunky and consist mainly of feathered game such as quail, pheasant and venison, the mixture are then baked. The fat on top preserve the terrines and prevent them from drying out on top.

 

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Recipe:

–          1 Tbsp caster sugar

–          50 ml rum

–          50 ml port

–          6 tbsp olive oil

–          4 onion coarsely chopped

–          4 shallots coarsely chopped

–          3 garlic cloves gratted

–          400 g pork belly minced

–          300 g pork shoulder minced

–          300 g pigs liver or chicken liver minced

–          2 eggs

–          100 ml double cream

–          5 fresh parsley sprigs

–          2 fresh thyme sprigs

–          1 bay leaves

–          6-8 strips of bacon

–          100 g chanterelles mushroom ( dried or fresh)

Method:  Preheat the oven at  180 degree celcius• Mix together the sugar, rum and port together in a small bowl, stirring the sugar until dissolve• Heat the olive oil int a pan, add the onions, garlic, shallots and chanterelles mushroom ( soaked in warm water if using dried mushrooms), cook over low heat stirring occasionally  for about 10 minutes  until lightly brown• Stir in the rum mixture, heat for a few seconds and ignite• When the flames have died down, cook until caramelized then remove from heat.

Mix together the meat, eggs and cream. Add the onions, shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix the chopped parsley with  the thyme leave  and stir in• Make a lattice pattern (cross)at  the bottom of the mould then spoon  the mixture in the  terrine mould  put the bayleaves on top and repeat the pattern on to finish• Put the terrine in a roasting tray, pour in boiling water to come about half way up the sides and bake for two hours. Leave the terrine to stand for 48 hours before serving.

You can enjoy this terrine with a fresh baguette, fig bread, cornichons or other pickles.

Bon Appetit .

Le Fermier

Chicken Chasseur

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Sauce chasseur also known as “hunter sauceis a brown sauce used in French cooking traditionally to cook game meat such as venison, rabbit, wild fowl and other meats. It often contains mushroom and shallots. Traditionally, while returning from the hunt, the hunters would pick the mushrooms that they would then use to prepare the sauce. In this recipe i used port instead of brandy as i find that it give the sauce more body. Chasseur is thought to have been invented by Philippe de Mornay, who is also credited with inventing Mornay sauce, bechamel, sauce Lyonnaise, and sauce Porto.

 

Chicken Chasseur

For the chicken:

–          500g chicken thighs
–          4 shallots
–          4 garlic cloves
–          1 bunch thyme
–          1 punnet Swiss brown mushroom
–          150g sliced bacon
–          150ml port
–          150 ml red wine
–          600 ml vegetable stock
–          Salt and  pepper
–          Corn flour

Method: Heat up your pot on medium heat with a drizzle of olive • Slice the shallots, crushed the garlic and chop the thyme • Add the shallots, thyme and garlic to the pot and cook on medium heat for a few minutes or until the shallots starts to brown a little • Dice the bacon and add them to the pot • Roughly cut the chicken thighs and add them to the casserole. Cook the chicken until golden brown • Add the port and reduce by about half, then add the red wine and again reduce by about half • Finally add the vegetable stock and cook on high heat until it starts boiling then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 30 minutes • Mix a little bit of corn flour with some water and add to the sauce to thicken it • Season to taste.

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For the roasted potatoes:

–          600g desire potatoes
–          2 sprigs rosemary
–          Olive oil

Method: Peel the potato • Put them in a pot and submerge them with cold water, cook them until just tender • Drain them and shake them well to get rough edges • Spread them on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven (220 degrees celcius) until crispy • Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and salt.

Bon Appetit,
Le Fermier