Coq Au Vin with Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Mash

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This dish sums up winter for me, a rich & hearty French chicken & mushroom stew with delicious mash potato, a glass of red, while sitting in front of the open fire. I thought it was only fitting as my last winter post of the year, to cook up my favourite winter meal. Cooking this fills the whole house with the most amazing smell, and well, the street too. I ducked out to the shop while it was bubbling away, and as soon as I stepped out of the car when I got back, I could smell the rich, herby aroma wafting out of the house. So if you are looking for a way to make your neighbours jealous, give this a go.

With the last day of winter almost here, I can’t really complain about this years winter. It’s been pretty mild, even up here in the mountains. My ugg boots barely made it out of the cupboard. Mind you, my spoilt rotten dogs, little miss Lily in particular, was still quite convinced that it was freezing. Her nightly routine when I get home from work is to wait by the door for her jumper to be put on, give me a kiss on the cheek (she is a sweetie) and then run inside and stand by the heater, until I get the hint that she wants that on too. If I don’t get the hint quick enough, she will whine until I do.

 Coq Au Vin with Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Mash

Suitable for:  Gluten, dairy, egg, soy & nut free diets

Coq Au Vin Ingredients

  • 2 tbs plain flour (I use gluten free plain flour)
  • 8 chicken thigh fillets (pref. skin on)
  • olive oil
  • 200g speck (or bacon), cut into strips
  • 8 eschalots (French shallots), peeled
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5 cups red wine (I used pinot noir, but whatever you have on hand is fine)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, leave only
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 5 Rosemary sprigs, leaves only and roughly chopped
  • 400g button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Fresh thyme, extra, to serve

Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Mashed Potato Ingredients

  • 6 large or 8 medium waxy potato’s, pealed and chopped into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, the top 1cm sliced off to reveal garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt & ground white pepper

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  1. Place the flour in a zip-lock plastic bag with a couple of pinches of ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the chicken and shake until lightly coated.
  2. In a large pot, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the speck or bacon, and cook stirring until crispy. Remove from the pot, leaving the oil behind.
  3. Add the chicken in batches and cook until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Remove and keep to the side.
  4. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and then add the eschalots and cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Don’t let the garlic burn.
  5. Add the brandy and bring to the boil. Add the wine, stock, tomato paste, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and season with salt & pepper. Add the chicken and the speck or bacon and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, for about 2 hours or until tender and the sauce has thickened up. Add extra stock if more liquid needed during cooking.
  6. To make the mash; preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Sprinkle some salt on the exposed garlic cloves and then drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in tin foil and roast in the oven for about 30 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can touch them, the garlic cloves will just pop out when you squeeze the bottom of them. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain the liquid and then return to the saucepan, with about 6 cloves of roasted garlic and the olive oil and mash using a potato masher. Season with sea salt and ground white pepper. You can drizzle over some extra olive oil and some thyme leaves when serving if you want it to look nice.
  7. Place coq au vin in a serving dish and top with extra thyme. Serve with mash.

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I have had this written out in a folder for years, so I have no idea where I first found the recipe.  It’s had a few additions over the years, but if it looks familiar, let me know and I’ll give the credit where it is due.

If you are in Sydney / Blue Mountains check out Molly Retro Store on Facebook for some great vintage and retro finds, like the old fruit crates I picked up this week to house my ridiculously huge mountain of food magazines.  But I thought they should be put to work as photo props first.