Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Coq Au Vin (French Chicken Stew)

Coq Au Vin (French Chicken Stew)

This aromatic French chicken stew contains a delicious blend of herbs and spices. I have taken liberty to omit the Bacon rashers and Brandy from this dish, keeping in mind the fact that these are not so common ingredients in an Indian Kitchen. But in case you choose to use them, they will obviously enhance the taste. I have decided to keep the red wine, but you can use vinegar instead.

Preparation Time   :  20 minutes
Cooking Time        : 120 minutes
Difficulty               : Medium
Serves                    :  6

Ingredients :

  • 1 1.5 kilos Chicken, cut into 12 pieces 
  • 50g (1/3 cup) plain Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 bunches (about 700 grams) Spring Onions, roots and stems trimmed
  • 250 grams Button Mushrooms
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500ml (2 cups) Dry Red Wine (you can use vinegar instead, but wine will taste better) 
  • 500ml (2 cups) Chicken Stock (or you can add 1 sachet of Broth powder in 500 mils of water) 
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • Steamed green beans, to serve, if desired
Note : Bouquet Garni .. or the spice pouch is widely used in many French as well as Traditional Indian dishes. This is very easy to make. Take a piece of white Muslin cloth, add the following spices and tie a tight knot. This spice bouquet is added to the stew during cooking and taken out before serving. The spices release their flour in the stew but saves your trouble of looking for pieces of leaves afterwards.
  • 4 - 6 Bay leaves 
  • 1 bunch of Parsley leaves ( if fresh one is not available, use 2 teaspoon of Dried Parsley)
  • 1 2 inch stick of Cinnamon bark
  • 4 - 6 Cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of Dried Thyme leaves


Method :

1) Briefly rinse Chicken pieces under cold running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towel.

2) Preheat oven to 180°C. Place flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Toss chicken pieces in flour and shake off excess.

3) Heat Oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat in a wide mouthed skillet. Add a third of the chicken pieces and cook, turning chicken occasionally, for 8 minutes or until browned all over.

4) Repeat for the rest of the pieces till all are done. Transfer to a ovenproof, flameproof dish.

5) Add onions to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until browned.

6) Add mushrooms and garlic, cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

7) Add wine and bring to the boil. Stir in stock, tomato paste and bouquet garni and pour over chicken.

8) Bake in preheated oven, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender and sauce is slightly reduced.

9) Serve with steamed green beans, if desired.

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