Dinner for two - Coq au Vin

The finished dinner served with basmati rice and peas
The finished dinner served with basmati rice and peas
Shalots or baby onions
Shalots or baby onions

Ingredients

These ingredients can be tweaked if you're not keen, but I'd strongly recommend that you give the whole recipe a go before you go changing things.

This recipe takes about 20-25 mins to prepare - depending upon how many you're cooking for and forty-five minutes to cook.

What you'll need:

  • Chicken breasts - about 150 grammes per person is usually enough
  • Shallots or baby onions - about 6 small per person
  • Bacon, chopped into reasonably small pieces (about 1cm) - if you're dieting, best to use smoked lean back at one rasher per person otherwise smoked streaky at two per person
  • Clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 25 grammes butter
  • olive oil
  • 25 grammes cornflour or plain flour if you haven't got cornflour to hand
  • 300 ml good quality red wine. Cheap plonk will taste bitter
  • 2 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika. Ordinary paprika will do--just.
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Chicken stock cube or 300 ml chicken stock
  • 50 ml tomato puree

Golden brown
Golden brown
Rich and totally yummy
Rich and totally yummy

This is what you do...

Step one

  • Take a freezer bag beg enough to put the chicken plus extra space. It doesn't have to be huge.
  • Add the cornflour, some salt and pepper to season and the paprika. Shake the bag to ensure it's well mixed.
  • Cut the chicken into 25mm (1 inch) cubes and put in the bag with the flour and seasoning.
  • Close the top of the bag, making sure you trap some air in as you're going to shake the chicken in the mixture to ensure complete coverage.

Step 2

  • Take a fairly large deep frying pan that has a lid that fits well--ours has a heavy glass lid, which is idea--and put on a high heat.
  • Add a glug of olive oil--not too much and the butter.
  • Add the chicken--carefully so as not to splash yourself and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  • Remove from the pan and put to one side, but keep the residue in the pan.
  • Put the pan back on the heat and add the bacon stirring for about thirty seconds before you add the shallots or baby onions
  • Fry for about ten minutes or until the bacon is starting to crisp. Don't just leave this sizzling away otherwise the onions burn and makes the flavour somewhat bitter--again, like the wine, that won't be nice.
  • Add the wine and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat as low as it will go.

Step 3

  • Add the garlic,stock cube--which should be crumbled over the mixture and thyme.
  • Finally add the tomato purée and cover with the lid, simmering for 30 mins.
  • Now don't think you can just walk away and leave this as often although the lid will prevent a lot of evaporation, it does happen and you don't want to caramelise everything to the bottom of the pan or it turns out like treacle-- not pleasant. So you['ll need to check and give it a stir every now and again, topping up to its original level with water as the level drops.

Step 4

Serve on a plate with boiled rice.

I added peas to mine, but you could serve yours plain. The dish is very rich and doesn't want anything like fragrantly cooked rice with all sorts of stuff in as I don't think you'd be able to taste it.

An alternative would be to serve with a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, spring onions (scallions) and dressing with a chunk of baguette.

For Weightwatchers dieters, with rice, this works out at about 8 1/2 points, but with the salad, reduces to just 5


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