Coq au Vin Blanc

I’m in love with this recipe.  It takes a bit of planning, but it is so worth it – so much flavour!  The chicken needs to be marinated, and it really does taste so much better when you use homemade chicken stock.

You’ll want a nice crusty loaf of bread to go with this, to soak up the delicious juices.  And a nice glass of wine can’t hurt.

The recipe is from Country Living’s One-Dish Country Suppers book, and I’ve adapted it a bit.

What you need for the marinade:

3 cups dry white wine

1 cup chopped onion

1 carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

8 whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 pounds of bone-in, skinless chicken pieces (breasts might be a little dry for this one)

What else you need:

4 slices bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion, cut into large chunks

5 medium carrots, but into 1 inch chunks

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1/4 cup  flour

3 cups chicken broth (homemade is best!)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

3/4 lb small potatoes

What you do:

1. To marinate the chicken, cook all the marinade ingredients (except the chicken!) for about 5 minutes.  Let it cool to room temperature, then pour it into a container with the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry.  Strain and save the liquid.

3. In a large pan, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon, then brown the chicken in the bacon fat.  Remove the chicken and most of the fat.

4. Add the olive oil and onions, cooking until lightly browned.  Add the carrots, celery, garlic and shallot, and cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir a little of the marinade liquid into the flour, mixing so there are no lumps.  Add the rest of the marinade liquid and mix, ensuring there are no lumps.

6.  Add the flour and marinade mixture to the pot with the chicken.  Then stir in the chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes

7.  Add the potatoes, then cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

8.  After a long-deserved wait you have a fabulous dinner to sit down to.  Top each portion with a little of the bacon, and enjoy a nice glass of wine with it!

Poulet Calvados

Chef Jeremy, one of my fabulous hosts in Paris, made this amazing dinner the other night.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the plated meal because it was so good that we dug in right away without pausing for the photo.  Served with a baguette and white wine, this is an impressive and not too challenging recipe.

Jeremy found this recipe online, at allrecipes.com, and feels it is a close approximation to the recipe that he lost, which used chicken stock and cider, and was flambeed with calvados.

What you need:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt or fleur de sel

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup butter

3 cups fresh mushrooms

3 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup apple brandy (calvados, or brandy in a pinch)

1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cream

What you do:

1.  Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and the coat the chicken in it.  Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on each side, about 3 minutes each side.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover.

2.  Put the onions, mushrooms and apples in the pan.  If the pan is too dry you can add a little olive oil.  Cook until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

3.  Stir in the brandy, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.  Put the chicken back in the pan and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.

4.  Add the cream and simmer until thickened, for about 5 minutes.

Served with a baguette this is fabulous because you can use the bread to soak up the amazing sauce.  We had crème caramel for dessert… amazing, and hopefully a recipe that I will post soon!  Bon appetit!