|Coq au Vin|
There is always this mystique associated with anything ‘French’. It is after all, the macaroons which gets the ooohs and aaaahs, not our own roadside ‘Nankhatai’. The Baguette tastes much better to our minds than the ‘Pav’ and of course the ‘Ratatouille’ seems super fancy even though it is just baked Brinjal to be put simply. The only exception is of course French fries, which is more pedestrian than coke, but they are not really French.
I myself found myself very curious about the cuisine a couple of months ago, since one of my poor vegetarian friends is taking a trip to the country. “There are Indian restaurants there,” he said in a reassuring voice, when I asked him what he will be surviving on. And somehow the thought of him having to eat ‘dal tadka’ sitting in a quaint restaurant in France was too tormenting for me so I decided to do a little research.
Unfortunately I think the poor guy will have to limit himself to cheese, bread and a lot of wine, because I did not find much he could look forward to. Other than deserts (Éclair, Tarte Tatin, Macaroons, Mousse), a couple of dishes of vegetables cooked in white wine and of course Potatoes. The vegetarian recipes seemed extremely unattractive to the cook so I ended up cooking a classic French dish called ‘Coq au vin’, literally meaning ‘Rooster with wine’.
§ 3-4 pieces of chicken thighs or drumsticks with skin on
§ 2 carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
§ 1 small handful pearl onions or shallots, skins removed
§ 1 large handful small button mushrooms
§ Tomato puree, 2 spoons
§ 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
§ 1 cup red wine (Obviously somewhat low on the wallet unless you are stinking rich)
§ 1/4 cup chicken stock
§ Salt and pepper/chilli
The original recipe calls for bacon strips but I couldn’t get my hands on it. Nonetheless the dish turns out to be completely delicious.
1. Dry chicken thoroughly and add to pan skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from pan and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan.
2. Add carrots, onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until everything starts to brown. Remove from pan.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper/chilli and put back in pan skin side up. Arrange carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic around the chicken. Pour over the wine, tomato puree and chicken broth.
4. Bring to a simmer and put the utensil in the oven at 121 deg C and let it cook for 45 minutes.
Serve with bread or rice.