Sunday, March 4, 2007

choc au vin


I made Coq au Vin yesterday so I would be less tied up in the
kitchen today when most, but sadly not all the Sullivan's where here. I
really missed not seeing Matt, Claire and Alice, we all did. The girls
(Evie, Lucy and Matilda) got on fabulously and having Alice here,
watching them all play together would have been very special. Still, we
have May to look forward to, a week in Thorpeness, in a big house with
big birthdays, I can't wait.

For pudding I cooked the Warm Chocolate and Mascarpone Cheesecake
(newly named, Damp Chocolate & Mascarpone Cake) as Stu rightly
said, 2 pud's for six was utter gluttony. This Cheesecake was totally
delicious and from now on will not be called a Cheesecake,
because, as I mentioned last week, it makes peoples noses slightly curl
up (it did Dad's). It will also not be called cheesecake because it was
nothing like one. It was moist, melting, light and totally uncurdy.
Next time I make it, I will add amaretti biscuits to the base and
perhaps not put the tin in a foil parcel and water bath, as when I
removed the cooked cake, the biscuit base had been dampened with
condensation. Not that this really mattered, I think I was the only one
that noticed and what with the runny cream and ice cream additions,  it
soon went damp anyway.

Take 1 large free-range happy chicken, with inner accoutrement's if possible (freeze the liver for basis to a bolognase sauce later or to make into a pate)
For the stock - celery, carrots, garlic, neck, bay leaf, peppercorns, onion
300g of shallots, peeled
olive oil
1 bottle of red wine (I used Cotes du Rhone in an attempt to keep the dish French)
250g button mushrooms
a good handful of fresh Thyme
a glug of Brandy or something similar (failing in my attempt to be totally French, I used Marsala)
2 cloves of garlic
10 rashes of smoked, streaky bacon or lardons (cut bacon into small pieces)
3 celery stalks, broken in half
1 carrot
4 bay leaves


Start by dividing the whole chicken into portions, (1 large chicken should feed 6 people) and leave to soak in the wine overnight.

  1. Place the remaining chicken carcass in a pan of water along with the stock ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours. The stock will be added to the casserole.

  2. Remove Chicken from wine and pat dry with kitchen paper. (You need them to be dry to avid excess spitting when frying).

  3. Add a small glug of oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon then add to a casserole dish.

  4. Brown the chicken portions in the bacon fat in batches then place in casserole.

  5. Brown off the shallots and garlic, then add to the chicken. Then do the same with mushrooms, adding butter if pan is too dry.

  6. Add a heaped dessert spoon of flour into the residual fat and then add brandy (masala). Simmer, stir, then add the wine until you have the base of the gravy. Add this to dish.

  7. Top the gravy up with the stock then add the celery, bay leaves, thyme and carrot. Add neck.

  8. Cover and cook for 1.30 Min's at 150˚c

  9. Once cooked, remove meat and vegetables and place on a plate. Add the gravy to a shallow pan and simmer until reduced to a desired thickness.

  10. Place meat back into casserole, poor over reduced gravy and serve.

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