Cog au Vin (French Chicken in Red Wine Sauce)

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When I think of French cuisine, I imagine something that’s classy and delicate, but always served in unsatisfying small servings on massive plates. I’ve always preferred something more hearty, such as a chunky piece of steak. So when I tasted this French dish that a mate (who’s a very good cook!) had cooked home, I had to give it a go myself. The dish is basically chicken braised in red wine. It takes quite a while to prepare and cook so if you plan on giving it a shot, give yourself plenty of time!

Ingredients:

1kg chicken thigh cutlets (skin on, bone in)

A handful of mushrooms

2-3 small carrots and onions

A bunch of shallots

2-3 pieces of bacon (about 100g)

Few strands of Thyme and a few Bay Leaves (tie together)

2 cups of chicken stock

½ bottle of red wine

Method:

1. Finely dice the onions and bacon, cut the mushrooms, carrots and shallots into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt & pepper on both sides.

2. With the pan on high heat, fry the bacon and onions till the onions are soft and place aside. In the same pan, grill the mushrooms lightly on high heat with a pinch of salt (to help release the moisture) and place aside as well. Then, fry the chicken cutlets skin side down on high heat and turn over when the skin is golden brown. Repeat with the other side to seal the chicken cutlets and place aside.

3. Place the chicken inside a deep pot or slow cooker. Add the bacon, onions, mushrooms, carrots, thyme and bay leaves bundle. Then pour in 2 cups of chicken stock and ½ a bottle of red wine. Bring everything to a boil then cover and cook on low heat for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, or about 3-4 hours in a slow cooker.

4. Remove the chicken and place aside. There should be a large amount of liquid left in the pot. Put this back on the stove on high heat to reduce it to a thick, saucy consistency. Just before taking it off the heat, throw in the shallots as they only need a small amount of time to cook.

5. Remove the thyme and bay leaves from the reduced red wine sauce and serve with the chicken. Done!

I have to say, and my housemate agrees, it doesn’t look particularly glamorous… but it tastes awesome. The chicken is very tender from being slow cooked and completely infused with the flavour of red wine. The vegetables and the thick, rich sauce gives this dish an amazing rustic sensation – nothing like the classy, delicate French cuisine that I imagine. This is now one of top dishes in my arsenal of recipes!

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