When it’s cold outside, This Little Pig throws on its beret and leaps into the kitchen to create a French feast of deliciousness. It warms the soul, makes the whole house smell delicious and chicken falling off the bone makes This Little Pig weak at the knees. The worst part of this meal is peeling 12 onions (good looord) but the best part of this meal is that it not only has slow cooked chicken, it has red wine and bacon. Say no more? Indeed! So roll up your French poncho and step into the kitchen to create the classic heartwarming dish, Coq Au Vin.
Coq Au Vin
Feeds: 6 Hungry Piglets
Prep Time: 20 Mins (because of the bloody onions).
Cooking Time: 20 Mins hands on & 1 hour of sweet, sweet simmering whilst you snooze in front of the fire.
1.5 Kg x Free Range Chicken Pieces
½ x Bottle of Red Wine
500g x Button Mushrooms
12 x Small Brown Onions (the little ones you can use for pickling - if you're that type of piglet)
1 x Big Bunch of Thyme
100g x Bacon
1 x Tbs Gourmet Stock
50g x Butter
1 x Tbs Mixed Herbs Dried
With silky mash and hot crusty baguette.
How to Become French:
- Finely dice your bacon.
- Give your mushrooms a good spritz and then cut into quarters.
- Top and tail your onions and peel. If the onions are particularly vicious, you will cry. Use this time to have a good cry about anything stressful in your life. If nothing is stressful, move onto human rights issues or particularly sad stories you read in the paper on Saturday.
- Heat your butter in a large casserole dish until it is hot to trot and bubbling. This Little Pig likes any excuse to use butter to fry things and what better excuse than a French dish? If you’re healthy and wotnot however, you could use a better fat such as olive oil. Sighhh.
- Add in half of your chicken and brown well on both sides – don’t move it until it has completely browned on one side – otherwise the skin will stick and you’ll lose the magic of browned chicken and then you will have wasted your time browning chicken…this is no good.
- Once browned on both sides, remove and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain and repeat with the second half of the chicken – you may need a little more butter depending on your pot.
- Now once you have browned and removed both sets of the chicken, keep your casserole pot on the heat and throw your bacon into your still hot to trot pot (that rhymed).
- Cook until starting to get crispy, then add in your mushrooms (500g), whole onions (12), mixed herbs (1 Tbs) and stir well. You will want to cook these guys, stirring fairly regularly, until all the moisture that comes out of the mushrooms has been cooked out, the mushrooms are a golden brown and the onions are starting to brown and the bacon is crispy and mouthwateringly delicious (but wait, that’s bacon all the time!).
- Now pour in ½ a bottle of red wine into the pan (you could actually add more than this but This Little Pig rashly drank half of the wine last night whilst yelling at its favourite TV show). Drop in your bay leaves (2) and sprinkle over half your thyme bunch.
- Stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan and get any stuck bacon off the bottom (leave no man behind!), then nestle in your browned chicken pieces. Pour in enough water to almost cover the chicken (This Little Pig used about ¾ of a wine bottle as a rough guide).
- Sprinkle the absolute beauty of a chicken dish with the rest of your fresh thyme leaves (saving a little for garnish at the end). Bring to the boil, then drop to a very low simmer, pop on the lid and Bob’s your granddad, you will have coq au vin ready to go in one hour.
- The aim is that the chicken is soft and tender but not completely overcooked that all the little bones disappear into the broth to lie in wait to choke some unsuspecting piglet.
- Serve with crusty baguette and silky mashed potato and eat in your pajamas. Now isn’t that warming piglets! Oink!