Coq au Vin on Roasted Garlic Potato Mash - Doing it French Style
Classic dishes are a favourite of mine. Some of the classics have been perfected over time and I enjoy the old time flavour this brings. This time, I went for a classic of the French cuisine; Coq au Vin, I did change it a bit to suit my own tastes and to use available ingredients, but the seemingly simple, yet complex layered flavours of dry red wine, vegetables and herbs, combined with garlic and the savoury bacon are just wonderful.
Please note that this does involved quite a few steps one day in advance, but I enjoy the meticulous approach to this dish :)IngredientsCoq au Vin
3-4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 or a whole chicken, cut into pieces
200g / 7 ounces of thick bacon, cubed
4 tablespoons water
500g / 18 ounces of Swiss brown mushroom,
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, warm
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, ice cold
2 (750 ml) bottles Pinot Noir (or any other French, dry red wine)
1 white onion, quartered
3 stalks celery, quartered
5 medium carrots, quartered
3 cloves garlic, cut into fine slices
1 heaped tablespoon of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
500 ml / 2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup Cognac
2-3 sprigs of rosemaryPotato mash
6 Floury potatoes, large, peeled, rinsed and diced
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
5-6 cloves of garlic (still in the head of garlic)
80g / 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
200ml / 3/4 cup full fat milk
Saute Pan or a medium sized casserole
Doufeu or a Dutch OvenMise en Place
The day before
Peel the carrots and cut into thick pieces.
Wash and clean the celery, cut into quarters.Remove the ends.
Open the wine bottles, set aside.
Clean and quarter the mushrooms.
To easily peel the shallots, cut the root end of the shallots and blanch them in boiling water for one minute, drain and cool down with cold water. Let cool off, then you can simply press the shallots out of the skin. Set aside to dry.
Peel and clean the garlic, cut into thin slices, set aside.
Peel and quarter the regular onion (not the shallots)
Heat a Saute Pan or a medium sized casserole to medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of water and the cubed, thick bacon. Keep cooking until the water is gone, then the bacon will start to brown nicely and all over. Remove the cubes once they have the desired level of crispness. Let them dry on a piece of paper towel, set aside.
If there is only little fat left, add a bit of fat and then add the shallots, season with salt and let them get lightly golden brown, tossing them. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
Wash and dry the chicken parts carefully, season with sea salt and brown them in the pan from all sides until golden, add a bit of fat if needed. Only brown 2 -3 pieces at a time to keep them from cooking. Remove and place the chicken parts in a large Doufeu or a Dutch Oven. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and the normal onion.
Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and saute the mushrooms until they are golden, remove and set aside together with the bacon and shallots. Keep all three in fridge until the next day.
There should be little to no fat left in the pan. Now use the cognac to deglaze the pan, keep scraping with a spatula until all the brown residue is dissolved. Add the tomato paste and a swig of red wine, mix and pour over the chicken and vegetables in the dutch oven.
Now add the chicken stock and all of the wine except for 1/2 a cup, until the chicken is just covered. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight. Do not season with salt yet.
The second day
Remove the Dutch Oven with the chicken from the fridge at least two hours before cooking to let it get to room temperature
Clean and peel the potatoes cut into even sized pieces and place into salted water with a bay leaf. Set aside. Grate the Parmesan, set aside.
Trim the end off a head of garlic, place root site down on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil, fold up into a tight package and set aside.Preparation
Pre-heat your oven to 160 C / 325 F. Add the rosemary to the chicken and place it in the oven for about two hours, letting it simmer gently, covered.
Place the garlic package into the oven as well, for about 20-30 minutes. Remove and set aside.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the Dutch Oven, cover it and the vegetables and place them in the oven to keep them warm.
Put the dutch oven uncovered on your stove and bring it to medium high heat, reduce the liquid to about 1/3 of the original volume. Then add the bacon, mushrooms and shallots. Reduce heat and cook covered at low heat for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes until they are tender, drain the water and keep them in the pot. Mash the potatoes, season with nutmeg and butter. Then add the parmesan and the wonderfully soft garlic that you press out of the skin into the mash. Mash and add milk as needed until you have your desired texture. Season with salt and fresh black pepper.
Taste the sauce, the bacon should have added more than enough salt to the sauce now. Add a teaspoon of green mustard and a healthy swig of red wine, season to taste with pepper. Do not let it boil again, add a few pieces of ice cold butter and keep stirring to give your sauce that lovely shine. Add the chicken back into the sauce to let it get hot again.
Arrange on pre-heated plates and serve with a Pinot Noir.Bon Appétit
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