Saturday, 1 November 2014

Coq au vin - a classic

I was on a food mission yesterday. As a big fan of French cooking I claimed that it is not just tasty, but actually not so complicated as people might think. My guests were my lovely Finnish friend and her boyfriend an Englishman. To convince the critical audience, I decided to make two French classics, a Coq au vin and a Lavender crème brûlée as one can easily prepare both together with guests without starving in the meantime.

for 4 persons you will need:
1 chicken or 4 chicken breasts with bones
salt & pepper
1 big onions, 2 gloves of garlic
100g bacon
a small bunch of thyme
2 tbsp oil, 3 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
75 ml cognac
2 bottles of red wine for example from Burgundy
4 bay leaves
400g mushrooms
1 baguette

1. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, season with salt and pepper. Chop the onion, garlic, bacon and mushrooms.
2. Take a pot which is suitably big enough for all of the ingredients and fry the bacon in half of the butter and oil. When the bits turn crispy, remove them and put them to the side.
3. Now fry the chicken shortly from all sides so that they take a light golden color and put them to side as well.
4. Fry the onions and the garlic until transparent, then add the flour.
5. Take the pot from the stove and add the chicken again. Warm the cognac over a candle and pour carefully over the chicken. Flame the cognac with a long match.
6. When the flame distinguishes, move the pot again on the stove. Add 500 ml wine, thyme and the bay leaves.
Let it boil on low heat for 25 minutes.
7. Now it's time to have a glass of wine and to take care of the mushrooms. Fry them in the rest of butter and oil for 2-3 minutes, mix the bacon under.
8. After the 25 minutes of cooking, add the mushrooms to the chicken and let it cook for another 25 minutes. (If you go for the crème brulée as well, you could start the preparations now.)
9. Serve with baguette and garnish with parsley.

And here is the recipe for the lavender crème brûlée.

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