Monday, March 29, 2010

A Casserole Of Sorts...

I've been reading through an old French cookbook that I picked up at a church stall for fiddy cents which has boeuf bourguignon and Jill Dupleix's 'New Food' which has her version of 'coq au vin' with chicken.
Trying to consider my housemate who doesn't eat red meat, I opted for the latter choice. It didn't quite go as planned but was very delicious all the same.

First of all,preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

You'll need some vegetables:
  • 10 pearl onions (more commonly known as pickling onions)
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 200 grams or around 15 mushrooms
  • A few cloves of garlic - you choose the amount. I used 6.
Then you'll need to chop the mushrooms in half and the carrots and celery in fine dice.
Keep the onions whole. Rough chop the garlic.

In my sexy, cast iron, red enamelled casserole pan which I have heated up on the stove top, I add a lug of good olive oil and a wodge of salted butter. If you think home brand vegetable oil and margarine will suffice, kill yourself now.
Add your vegetable and a good dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Turn down the heat as cast iron stays hot and you don't want to burn your veggies. Saute and 'sweat off' the vegetables.

At this point you want to add your chicken pieces. Once they have 'colour', move on to next step.

Add a wine glass full of dry white wine (if you used fruity lexia or passion pop you are a bogan from hell and see above re; veg oil and margarine). Add 2 cups of chicken stock and a 'Scarborough Fair' (a bouquet garni made from a small bunch of parsley,sage,rosemary & thyme). Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the alcohol in the wine has evaporated.
Drain a can of whole tomatoes-make sure they are Italian-and add to your casserole. Cover and transfer to oven.  Slow cook for 1.5 hours. The liquid should reduce by half to make a divine sauce. I served this with some whole steamed chats (little potatoes) and broccoli but you can choose what you like. Next time, I will buy a fresh,crusty baguette to mop up the lovely sauce at the end.

I love Autumn-my favourite time of year and meals such as this represent the beginning of the season change for me.  The sort of food that warms the cockles of your heart and stick to the ribs.


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