Friday, July 18, 2008

Bastille Day 2008

Our Bastille Day dinner 2008 went very well. I liked how we used old favourite recipes, as well as one new one, and one we didn't even make at all! Made for an easy stress-free evening. Have a look at my previous Bastille event.
The table decor was blue and white linen, the crystal, the silver and the Sarah's Garden setting from Wedgwood. White jonquils and pink oriental lilies were in a low bowl for a centrepiece. A few tealights and candles created the mood.
We ate:

And some very lovely bottles of French wine (thank you, Dan Murphy's.)
Here's the recipe for the chicken (from the 2007 French edition of Gourmet Traveller). It was very tasty and flavoursome.

Coq au Vin (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 90gm butter, chopped, room temperature

  • 1.6kg good chicken, jointed

  • 150gm piece pancetta, cut into 1cm pieces

  • 12 small pickling onions
  • half cup warmed brandy

  • 3 cups Beaujolais (Dan Murphy's has a lovely one for about $8.50)

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 parsley stalks

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 2 small heads garlic, halved lengthways

  • 1 tbsp plain flour

  • 200gm mixed small mushrooms, trimmed

  • quarter cup rough chopped flatleaf parsley
Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil and 20gm of butter in large casserole over medium heat. Add chicken pieces, cook 10 min, turning till golden, then transfer to plate, keep warm.
Add pancetta and onions, cook 5 min or till golden, drain off excess fat. Return chicken to pan, pour brandy over, ignite with long match. When flames are gone, add wine, stock, herbs, garlic and season to taste. Bring to boil, cover, place in oven 1 hour or till chicken is tender and cooked through.

Transfer chicken, onions and pancetta to warm dish, cover with foil, keep warm in a low oven. Strain cooking liquid through fine sieve. Discard herbs and garlic. Heat sauce in clean casserole over medium heat, simmer 30min or till reduced to 2 cups. Combine flour and 20gm butter to a paste, whisk into the sauce. Cook and stir the sauce for 5 min or till sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Heat 50gm butter in a frying pan over medium heat, cook mushrooms 5 min or till golden, season, set aside.

At serving time, put chicken, onions, pancetta and mushrooms back in sauce, cook 5 minutes, turning to coat and warm through. Scatter parsley over to serve.

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