What's your favourite cuisine? Is it one that you've grown up with, or one that you've discovered on your own?
I've always thought that my favourite was Italian, but really, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Greek, I love most of the Euro-zone cuisines that I've tried. Growing up, meals in our household were a strange hybrid of Cantonese-Australian, such as roast pork with apple sauce - and bok choy. Or sausages on the barbeque, served with tomato sauce - and lashings of boiled rice. Come to think of it, it wasn't a meal without heaps of boiled rice...
Anyway, I mainly cook European now. And since it was Bastille Day last Saturday, I made this version of Coq au Vin (and no boiled rice). It's a slow cooker version, and it filled the house with a heady Gallic bouquet of white wine, garlic and thyme. This recipe can also be prepared on a stove top - just brown the chicken and cook the sauce in the same casserole pan, and cook for 2 hours on a gentle simmer. Bon Appetit!
Coq au Vin
1 tblsp olive oil
4 chicken marylands
6 eschalots, peeled, halved
4 rashers bacon, trimmed, chopped
3 tsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp plain flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 dried bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
300g button mushrooms, halved
1. Heat 1 oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for about 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until browned. Transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.
2. Heat butter in the frying pan. Add eschalots and bacon. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute then add the flour. Cook, stirring for 1 more minute.
3. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until reduced by half.
4. Pour the bacon, eschalot and wine mixture into the slow cooker. Add mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme and stock. Season with pepper and stir to combine.
5. Cook on Low setting for 6 hours. Serve with green beans or peas and crusty bread.
Ingredients, including eschalots, mushrooms, bacon, thyme.
I used sauvignon blanc, which gives off a wonderful aroma. Skulking cat is optional.
Me, wearing a French-style stripey top because it was Bastille Day.
The browned chicken is nestled into the slow cooker with the veg and herbs on top.
After 6 hours of slow cooking, the chicken was literally falling apart, so delicious.
Served with sugar snap peas and courgette. And bread, naturellement.