Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Coq au Riesling (without the riesling)

Coq au Riesling 

I am going to start by saying, this is one of the tastiest things i've made in a while (the rabbit on sunday which I haven't got round to blogging yet was amazing, but I had expected that to taste as good as it did, this was a pleasant surprise). Even with the exclusion of the all important title ingredient, it had a depth of flavour and warming creamy wholesomeness.

From the name this would seem to be an appropriate dish to try and impress someone with or to be saved for a special occasion, but it didn't even cost that much to make. £1.50 for 4 chicken thighs, some smoked bacon which I had had to use earlier in the week anyway, and some mushrooms are all the main ingredients involved. I especially love it when something seems special, but can be so everyday if you are willing to put the effort in. It felt impressive without being pretentious.

It also gave me an excuse to stand by the cooker for a long time, which given that my house is arctic and walking into my room is like hitting a wall of icy cold air, this was somewhat of a luxury. Again, as I make small complaints about my house, i remember the ludicrously low price that I pay for it, £45 a week, i kid you not. I guess that's one reason I can afford to eat so well.

Anyway if i attempt to write this in some basic form of a proper recipe, here's the ingredients you need to make it for 2 people

- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 rashers of smoked bacon
- 8 mushrooms
- an onion
- a few sprigs of thyme
- stock
- creme fraiche
- butter

I feel ridiculous writing a recipe out like that, why 8 mushrooms? It would work just as well if you only had 6, and if you wanted to add more it wouldn't hurt either. some mushrooms, you must include some mushrooms, that is all i will say.

Perhaps a reason this tasted so good was the stock I used, made from the carcass of the rabbit we cooked on Sunday. Yes, I am now an actual bunny boiler. Gave it a marvellous extra meaty flavour, and more authentic tasting rather than the all to obvious taste of an ox cube.

First you have to brown the chicken and the bacon in the butter, then set aside. Use the same pan to fry the onions and the mushrooms, then add back in the chicken and bacon. (IMO I don't really see what the point is in doing this, but for once I was trying to accurately follow a recipe, given how good it tasted I think I should maybe do that more regularly).

You should then add in the stock and thyme sprigs and water if you need a bit more liquid, and leave covered to simmer for 30 minutes. That's what the recipe said,  I got impatient and started the next stage after 25 and it didn't kill me. Now you have to remove the chicken and turn the heat up and reduce the stock down - i also picked out the thyme stalks, now the recipe didn't say to do that, and it definitely improved the meal - before adding in the creme fraiche some chopped parsley and adding the chicken back in. 

I can see how the riesling, or even a regular white wine would have added another layer of flavour to this, but honestly, it was good how it was. I will admit maybe it would have been even better with the wine, but I got pissed drinking it on sunday night, so enjoyed it in a more fulfilling way I feel. 

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