Coq au Vin Blanc

One of those lost recipes we so enjoy to make at home, yet we do not see it in any restaurants. This recipe reminds me of my time at Hotel School when we truly discovered the rudiment of French cuisine… and what a discovery it was. The addition of French shallot finely minced combined with a little butter and a dash of White wine… a perfect combination. I always say that life is better with butter and a little wine will make it smoother. The addition of just a little white wine can turn a simple dish into another stratosphere of elegance and finesse. At Hotel school we not only discovered the different wine regions of France and their different characteristics, but also learned which one to use for cooking. It was so interesting to learn the geography of France through wine and how they differ from one another. I remember learning all the regions by heart not having been to France yet, so you can imagine when I went for the first time and tasted not only the wonderful food, but all the regional wines, I was in heaven. You learn so much by going through the various regions and compare the local delicacies paired with their exceptional wines. The French know how to market their fares, rightly so, and it always makes such a difference in your culinary experience. The passion they exert in everything they do, make the experience always exceptional. The butcher does not improvise his work overnight, the same with the cheese monger and the baker. They know what they are talking about, often after years of experience and they always try to achieve the highest quality in everything they do. Yes, you may a little more, the result is always so gratifying. Here is a recipe I make quite often and you can use different types of cut. In this instances, I used chicken thighs, but the original recipe came from Nigel Slater, an exceptional food writer, with a passion for tasty, yet often simple food.
He calls it, Coq au Riesling. I prefer a drier wine for this recipe and went for a Chablis in this instance, but you can use many different types of wine, according to your taste. You can also make it in advance and I believe it taste even better when reheated the following day, when all the ingredients have had a chance to meet and mingle. Simply add a dash of white wine at the end of cooking, it brings life to the dish.

INGREDIENTS
Serves 4
3 Tablespoon butter
500 Gr. Chicken thighs, cut in large pieces – You could use any part of the chicken, preferably with the bones.
1 Large onion, cut in half and sliced
150 Gr. White mushrooms / Champignons de Paris sound better no… sliced
Sprig of Thyme
2 Tablespoons All purpose flour
1 1/2 Cup of Dry White wine – Chablis, Sancerre, Gruener Vertliner, etc…
1 Cup Chicken broth
1 Cup heavy cream
Handful Parsley finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

METHOD
In a large saucepan, melt the butter until the bubbles subside. Stir in the chicken and cook on both sides for about 3-4 minutes each side, until brown.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Stir in the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions become translucent – about 4-5 minutes
Add the flour and mix well – Cook the flour for about 2 minutes and then pour the white wine and chicken stock. Using a spoon mix well to ensure there are no lumps in the sauce.
You can also pour the wine first whilst mixing and then add the water in order to avoid those lumps. Add the chicken and mix well.
Cook for about 10 minutes at medium boil.
Stir in the cream and parsley
Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with beautifully creamed potatoes, steamed rice or steams vegetables.

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