Tag Archives: Mushrooms

Coq Au Vin

There are many days when all I want to do  is throw together a stir fry and eat something light and tasty but there are other days when I feel like settling into the kitchen and putting time and effort into preparing something a bit more complicated. This was one of those occasions.

Some people are a bit funny about eating meat on the bone, but if you’re one of them, just make this in advance, and give yourself time to pull the meat off the bones. Often it’s easiest to do that when it’s stone cold, and you can use your fingers instead of a knife.

For this tasty treat, you will need:

10 shallots

4 carrots

1 packet of smoked bacon lardons or about 3 thick slices of pancetta, cubed

2 cloves garlic

Around 8 chicken thighs and legs

Around 12 button mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms

Salt and pepper

1 beef stock pot

3/4 bottle drinkable red wine

A few sprigs of fresh parsley and rosemary

2 tbsp plain flour

Recipes using bacon lardons

  1. Trim off any of the excess fat on the bacon lardons that you don’t like the look of, then add them into a large stock pot or casserole on a low heat to let the fat render a little, then turn up to brown.  Remove the bacon from the pot when it’s looking tasty.chicken thigh recipes
    2. If there’s alot of fat still kicking about in the pot, carefully use a piece of kitchen towel to mop up the excess.  With the heat still on high, add 4 of the chicken pieces to the pot, skin side down to start with, and brown on both sides.Recipes using chicken thighs  3.  When golden, set aside on a plate to cool.  Add the remaining 4 chicken pieces and brown on both sides.  Set those aside.
    Hoe to cook chicken thighs    4.  Next, it’s time to prepare the vegetables. Skin and half the shallots and add them into the pot, turning the heat down to medium.
    Recipes using shallots  You should be able to do some of the vegetable chopping while the bacon and chicken are browning.

5. Finely chop the garlic and add it to the pot once the onions are getting on their way to cooking.photos of shallots  6. Peel and chop the carrots into chunks and add them to the pot.

recipes using carrots 7.  Let the vegetables cook gently for 10 minutes or so.

8.  Then add back the bacon and chicken, pour in the wine and dissolve the beef stock pot in the pot.  The meat and veg should be nicely covered by the liquid.  Season and add the fresh herbs.  Now leave the whole thing to simmer for around half 20 minutes, with the lid on.

Coq au vin recipe

9.  After 20 minutes, add the smaller mushrooms whole and halve or quarter any larger ones.  Put the lid back on and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.how to make coq au vin 10,  when it’s just about ready, the sauce should have turned from red to brown and the meat should be starting to fall away from the bones, but your sauce will still be quite thin.  To thicken it, simply put the flour into a mug, cover with cold water and mix into a paste.  Add to the pot, stirring constantly until it comes through the boil.  Cook out for a few more minutes to get rid of any floury textures.

 11.  Serve up with green vegetables and potatoes or wholegrain pasta.  It reheats really well but it’s easiest to do so once you’ve taken any remaining meat off the bones.

Coq au vin

Bon appetit!How to make Coq au Vin

Mushrooms on Toast

This is something Mr Brooker introduced to my lunchtime life, and it’s a much healthier version of Pizza Express’ delightful Bruschetta con Funghi (which is loaded with cream). This makes a fabulous lunch, served with salad or alone, a great starter, if served in a smaller portion, or a tasty canapĂ©, if vastly miniaturised. 

You will need:

Crusty whole grain bread, toasted 

Mushrooms, preferably chestnut

1 clove garlic

1 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp thyme

Generous knob of butter

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Grinding of black pepper 

1. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low to medium heat. Slice the mushrooms, grate or crush the garlic and herbs (unless using dried). 

2. Put the toast on and chuck the garlic in the pan to let its flavour release into the butter, without burning it.

3. Add the mushrooms and herbs, making sure to spread the mushrooms out evenly. Try not to overheat or over stir. You want these brown and textured, not grey and mushy! 

4.When the mushrooms are nearly ready, add the mustard and stir in. Add more if you really like it!

5. Serve over the toast with a grinding of black pepper. You won’t need to butter the toast as the mushrooms will be moist enough. 

I know this involves fat and dairy but at least it’s real butter! The flavour simply can’t be replicated any other way!   Just make sure you enjoy it!