Thursday, January 8, 2009

coq au riesling

After one crazily hectic day, I finally made it back to the house and got my hands dirty making this classic dish with a slight twist. Nigella (as in Lawson) said that her Coq Au Riesling is a twist on the classic Coq Au Vin. I was inspired to try out this dish while I was drooling profusely as I watched her show Nigella Express. Added to the fact, that she made it seems so easy on TV, which, honest-to-god, is completely correct. The hardest part of the whole process was the waiting around as I am one impatient person.
I had to sacrifice a bottle of wine from my precious wine reserve for this dish, but it's totally worth it. I bought this bottle from Pemberton in my last holiday trip, it's called Riesling Auslese from this vineyard called Bellarmine. I am no wine expert, but do pick your wine carefully for this dish as you can taste the essence of the wine in the broth. The riesling I used had a touch of mango and lime in it. 
Tips & tricks:
  1. If you don't have any garlic oil, do what I did and pop in some finely minced/grated clove of garlic when you pop the chicken into the pan.
  2. She specified oyster mushrooms, I used swiss brown mushroom and I think it tasted as good.
  3. You have to trust her when she said, simmer it with a low heat for at least 50 minutes. It made the chicken oh-so-tender and your patience will be rewarded with that lovely pink colour.
  4. She also said, if you have left-over double cream in your fridge, pop it into the pan at the last minute. I say buy a small tub anyway, and pop them in at the last minute, you won't regret it.
  5. I bought some tagliatelle for this dish, but you can use any kind of pasta of your choice, really.
  6. If you're eating for one, reserve a glassfull of the luscious wine to drink while eating your pasta. Bon Appétit.
Coq Au Riesling
by Nigella Lawson


  • 2 tbsp garlic oil
  • 150g bacon lardons
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 300g oyster mushrooms, torn into strips
  • 750mL Riesling
  • double cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1–2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill to serve
  • pasta, boiled to al dente, drained, with butter folded through the drained noodle

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole or large, wide pan and fry the lardons until crisp.
  2. Add the sliced leek and soften it with the lardons for a minute or so.
  3. Cut chicken thighs into 2 or 3 pieces each, tip them into the pan with the bay leaves, torn mushrooms and wine.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30–40 minutes, stirring in the double cream for the last couple of minutes if you want. Like all stews, this tastes its mellowest best if you let it get cold and then reheat the next day. But it’s no hardship to eat straight off. Whichever, serve sprinkled with dill and together with some buttered noodle.

My food critic, aka my sister, gave the dish four forks out five. She tried the dish both with and without the double cream and agreed that the cream definitely gave the dish its extra oomph...

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