Coq Au Vin with Herby Dumplings
Classically, the French would not dream of serving coq au vin with dumplings, but as I am not French I don’t care! When the dumplings rise and soak up all the winey cooking liquid, they create such a taste and texture sensation that I very much doubt you will be worrying about their authenticity.
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|8||free-range chicken thighs, boned, skinned and halved|
|Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|16||baby button mushrooms|
|4||rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons|
|2||banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced|
|1||large carrot, peeled and finely diced|
|3||garlic cloves, peeled and chopped|
|1 tbsp||plain white flour|
|1 tbsp||tomato purée|
|1||bouquet garni (bay leaves, fresh thyme and fresh parsley, tied into a bundle)|
|For the dumplings:|
|1½ tsp||olive oil|
|1||small handful of fresh parsley, chopped|
|3 tsp||snipped fresh chives|
You will need a large, heavy-based, lidded casserole.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-based, lidded casserole. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Brown in the pan in two batches for 4 minutes on each side, then set aside. Throw in the mushrooms and cook in the remaining oil for 5 minutes, or until golden. (If the pan appears dry, add a little boiling water and scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up any chickeny residue.) Set the mushrooms aside with the chicken.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the bacon and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the shallots and carrot. Cover them with the lid and sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes, adding the garlic to the pan for the last minute. Add the plain flour and tomato purée and stir, coating the vegetables for 1 minute.
Gradually pour in the wine, stirring as you go to emulsify the sauce. Add the stock, chicken, mushrooms and bouquet garni and stir through. Place in the oven and cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
To make the dumplings, mix all the ingredients together and shape into 8 small balls. For the last 20 minutes of the casserole cooking time, add the dumplings and cover with the lid. They will double in size during cooking. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes’ cooking time so that they become golden on top.