No. 34: Coq au Vin with Herby Dumplings – 21.4.12
Oh Gizzi how I’ve missed you!! I’m sorry I left you for Rachel Khoo but you know I’ll always love you!
My big sister bought me Gizzi Erskine’s Kitchen Magic for Christmas and after already loving Gizzi through her tv shows I fell in love with it. Then watching Rachel Khoo on tv made me instantly fall in love with her, making me buy her book as soon as I could. However I’ve been cooking a lot of Rachel Khoo recipes recently so I’m going back to Gizzi!
And yes, I know I’ve already had ‘Coq au Vin’ this week but I don’t care. I really wanted to try the traditional stew version of a Coq au Vin because I adored the flavours of the skewer version I had tried so felt I should give the traditional version a go. And yes, I know dumplings aren’t traditionally French and this is stated in the recipe but they work really well with the stew and add a lovely extra dimension of texture (they’re also really good at wiping up left over sauce at the end of the meal!). This recipe is from her book “Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic”.
Serves 4, preheat the oven to 180oC!
(This list is in the order you use the ingredients)
For the Stew
2 tbsp Olive Oil
8 free-range chicken thighs, boned, skinned and halved (if you’re not sure about removing bones or removing the skin, just ask your butcher to do it)
Pinch sea salt and ground black pepper
16 button mushrooms
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped into lardons
2 banana shallots, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp plain white flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
600ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
1 bouquet garni (This is a bundle of herbs tied together to flavour stews and soups which is removed at the end of cooking) Made of Bay leaves, fresh thyme and fresh parsley tied in a bundle.
For the Dumplings
100g Self raising flour
½ tsp salt
1 and ½ tsp olive oil
a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
3 tsp snipped fresh chives
60ml semi-skimmed milk
Heat1tbsp of the oil in a large heavy-based, lidded casserole dish. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper and brown these in 2 batches. Cook for 4 minutes on each side and set aside. Throw in the mushrooms, cook in the oil and chicken juices for 5 minutes or until golden and set aside with the chicken. If the bottom of the pan seems dry, add a little boiling water to scrape the bottom of the pan.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the bacon on a high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the shallots and carrot. Cover with a lid and sweat these for 10 minutes on a low heat, throwing in the garlic at the last minute. Add the plain flour and tomato purée and stir to coat all the vegetables for a minute.
Slowly pour in the wine, stirring continuously to emulsify the sauce (you’ll see it thicken up as you stir). Add the chicken stock, chicken thighs, mushrooms, bouquet garni and give it a good stir! Cover, place in the oven and cook for an hour, stirring it half way through cooking.
To make the dumplings, add the the dumpling ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Then divide the mixture to make 8 small balls (these will double in size when they cook). When the stew has 20 minutes left add the dumplings and cover with the lid. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes so they become golden brown on top.
Not tooting my own horn here, but I think this was one of the best meals I have ever made. It was absolutely amazing! The sauce was wonderfully rich from the wine and the chicken was so soft and tender from being cooked for so long. When you cut open the chicken thighs, they were a rich dark brown/red on the outside but a gorgeous white in the middle. I used Parsnip instead of carrot (due to my IBS) but my point is, is that the vegetables in the dish gave subtle little hints of flavours. There were a lot of different textures in the dish, the soft chicken, the silky sauce, the little pieces of bacon and the soft, chewy dumplings. The dumplings were a really nice addition! I’m not sure what it would usually be served with but they worked really well with the stew and soaked up some of the flavours whilst cooking. I loved this dish and it seems my boyfriend was pretty blown away by it as well!