discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Sunday, 11 August 2013

My high horse served up with slow cooked coq au vin

Farmers Closer

As you know I've been on my high horse about buying Australian made, you can read about it here if you missed it. So this week I went to the supermarket and am proud to say brought 98% Australian made and/or owned. No doubt it took longer, but as I walked aisle to aisle searching, I felt that at least I was doing my bit.  Coincidently on the radio on the way, Dick Smith was on the Neil Mitchell program (I am officially an old fart) saying his company is on the brink of closure as the products weren't being supported. You can read more about it here. So the first thing I did at Woolies was search for his tomato sauce and brought a couple of bottles.  Further on my travels I brought his peanut butter too and some more SPC tinned fruit to help their plight.  It will take less time next week as I now know what to look for. What little things could you switch to?  Really think about it. Don't forget about it next week. Its these little things that add up to helping an awesome cause, our country.

So off I went to the local market on Sunday.  I was thrilled to buy not only local produce, but organic as well from "Merri Banks".  

My haul from the farmers market
The farmer had beautiful garlic, celeriac and kale which I will work my meals around for the next few days.  I also got some free range eggs, cauliflour, spuddies, apples and tomatoes.  I can't wait to go back again next weekend, my only gripe would be I wish it was on Saturday then I'd have the whole weekend to work with and not be rushing out the door on Sunday!  

I love having the slow cooker on. It means dinner is taken care of in the morning as it works its magic. After coming home from the market I got to making Coq au vin. It means " chicken cooked in wine" in French but the recipe is chicken pieces cooked in red wine, bacon, mushrooms and optionally garlic. An option I gladly took on. A necessity really.  I used good quality free range chicken legs, already trimmed up. You can also use thighs and wings but please, please don't use breast for this. It is a waste. These long braises are ideal for meat on the bone that will sing after hours of gentle cooking. Breast will just go tough so save them for a quick cooking method. Also, don't be tight with your plonk. The saying that if its not fit to drink then its not fit to cook with should be your motto, and you need to taste the wine so it needs to be drinkable :) The rest of the bottle will be a perfect match with it too.  I'm going to break from tradition and add some kale to this at the last minute and also pair it up with potato and celeriac mash, I can hardly wait.

Coq au vin
8 chicken pieces
2 rashers of bacon, sliced and excess fat removed
8 eshallots, peeled and kept whole
1 eshallot, finely diced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
5 large portebello mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbspn plain flour
S & P
1 cup of red wine
1 litre of water or chicken stock
1/2 bunch kale
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
3 spuds peeled and chopped

Put the flour and s & p in a freezer bag along with the chicken pieces and give a good shake. This flour will help thicken up the stock. 

In a frypan heat some oil and fry the pieces in batches. You want them to go golden, make sure they sizzle. Add your thyme and a little extra s & p, turning a few times. Put the batches straight into the slow cooker. 




  In the same pan, don't you dare wipe it out as you need all those brown bits for added flavour, heat a few drops more oil and lightly fry your diced eshallot, whole eshallot, garlic, and bacon. After a few minutes, deglaze the pan with the wine, it will bubble up and let it reduce for a few minutes. 




Add this to the slow cooker along with your mushies, bay leaves and stock or water.  Put the lid on, setting on high, and come back in 5-6 hours. Add the sliced kale just before serving. Peel some spuds and a celeriac, boil until tender and mash with a dash of milk, s & p and butter.  Don't forget to fill your wine glass and savour every bite.

Ciao, Jan

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