Week 31 had the theme French. I had a few ideas - trying to make croissants or a souffle, but instead I ended up going for this recipe from my copy of the Family Circle cookbook, Cooking: A Commonsense Guide, as the cold evenings certainly make casseroles like this seem very appealing.
Coq au vin translates to rooster in wine and wikipedia has some interesting notes on the history of the dish.
seasoned plain flour
1kg chicken pieces
2 tbs oil
2 rashers bacon, sliced
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbs brandy
3/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 tbs tomato paste
125g button mushrooms, or quartered larger mushrooms
Toss the chicken in the seasoned flour.
Heat half the oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the chicken in batches, removing once lightly browned.
Heat the remaining oil, and add the bacon, shallot and garlic and cook until onions are browned.
Add the chicken, brandy, wine, stock, herbs and tomato paste.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and simmer another 10 minutes.
Serve with mashed potato or crusty French bread.
It turned out wonderfully - it is very much a comfort-food dish! Chicken breast has a tendency to dry out, but it stayed wonderfully juicy when cooked this way. The sauce had a lovely creamy consistency, which is nice considering there is no cream in it.