That I love French Cuisine is no secret... Is there a better way to start the new year than to cook Coq au vin for the first meal of 2010? I thought so! We had a family meeting to celebrate and welcome a brand new year, and share our best wishes and resolutions. It was a slightly french meal -- the perfect theme to use the new Le Creuset pan I got for Christmas. For dessert, there was Pumpkin Pudding with Almonds... moist, sweet, and nutty. What else could I have asked for? Happy 2010!
Coq au vin
1,2 Kg free-range chicken, cut into large pieces (or 8 thighs + legs)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter, separated
1 onion, chopped
1 glove garlic, chopped
150 ml dry white wine*
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
200 gr wild mushrooms
parsley, to serve
Wash each piece and dry with paper towels. Place flour in a plate and rub the chicken, until covered. In a heavy pan, heat 1 tbsp butter. Working in batches, sauté the chicken for 3-4 minutes, each side. Set aside. Pour a little chicken stock (or water) into the pan, and remove any brown pieces from the pan walls and bottom. Add onion and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Return the browned chicken to the pan. Season with salt and ground black pepper and dried thyme. Add half the wine, let it steam and mix. Add the remaining wine, and cook, covered for 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally. If it's dry, add some chicken stock or water.
Whilst the chicken cooks, prepare the mushrooms. Preheat a large saucepan. Add 1 tbsp butter, the garlic and half the mushrooms, sliced. Be careful the saucepan is not too crowded. Season with salt, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Set aside in a heated plate, and repeat.
To serve, add the mushrooms to the pan, garnish with parsley and serve with boiled potatoes and a green salad (optional).
* Coq au vin is traditionally made with red wine, mas there are all kind of versions with different wines. My choice for this recipe is a dry white wine.
Pumpkin Pudding with Almonds
250 gr baked pumpkin, smashed with a fork
100 gr dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
150 ml cream
1 tsp quatre-épices*
2 tbsp raisins
caramel for the mould
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
Mix pumpkin, eggs, spices and sugar. Beat until combined. Add cream and raisins. Mix well. Cover a ring mould with caramel. Pour the batter and cover with a lid. Place the mould into an ovenproof dish and fill with hot water to cover half the wall of the mould. Cook in a preheated oven 180ºC, for 30 minutes. Remove to a serving plate when completely cooled. Garnish with toasted almonds.
*quatre-épices is a spice mix. You may use half cinnamon and equal parts of ground ginger, ground gloves and ground nutmeg.