Simple Coq au Vin – and a low calorie option too!

Simple Coq au Vin – and a low calorie option too!

The inspiration for this was taken directly from Tom Kerridge’s book on low calorie dining ‘Lose weight for good’ but slightly adapted for the Big Green Egg.  The recipe in Tom’s book describes it as a simple ‘Coq au Vin’ – but using more easily attained ingredients.  Principally not an old cock bird – but rather some skinless, bone in chicken thighs; no chicken blood, but still some good hearty red wine!!  The chicken thighs are really full of flavour, inexpensive and if stripped of their skin, low in calories too. Being a little ‘tougher’ than the breast meat they stand up better to a long cooking, even if the meat is from a relatively young bird as they usually are.   My feeling is if you are going to try a low calorie recipe then do one by a chef who is primarily interested in taste, who then works out how to keep the taste whilst losing the calories!  In the original recipe there is also instruction for a crumble topping which we omitted, certainly in this first attempt.

The dish can be (and is better) prepared in advance, by a day or so, and it also freezes really well too.  We based the recipe on 12 chicken thighs which gives enough portions for 6 people.  The portions are generous so I was surprised that the claimed calorie count for each portion of the meat and sauce is just 325 KCal – but who am I to argue!

The skin was first removed from the chicken thighs and they were popped into a bowl and 300ml of red wine was poured over them.  The bowl was covered in cling film and left overnight in the fridge to marinate.  The following morning we lit the Big Green Egg as we were going to do most of the cooking on charcoal just to add a little more flavour to the dish.  The original recipe suggested 180C for around an hour – we wanted to lengthen the cook to be more ‘low and slow’ and so settled on a temperature of around 130C cooking indirectly (clearly this could also be done in a domestic oven in a similar way).

Meanwhile, the chicken was removed from the marinade which was reserved for later (they look a really dirty red colour at this stage). The chicken was dried on kitchen towel,  spraying with oil on each side – 2 or 3 sprays only, and seared directly until well browned in the Dutch Oven.  Doing them in batches of 4 allowed them to fry rather than steam, and when brown they were set aside.   The lardon were then cooked to release their fat and slightly crisp.  To these were added the onions and the diced carrots and these were sautéd for 2-3 mins before adding the celery, thyme, mushrooms and reserved marinade.  This was all brought to the boil and the chicken stock was added.  As the Big Green Egg tends to retain moisture when cooking we used a ‘stock pot’ chicken stock and added without any further water, which could always be added later.  The pot was brought to the simmer and the chicken pieces returned.  The Dutch Oven was then put onto the EGG but with the lid off (unlike in a conventional oven) and the whole thing was allowed to braise for around 3hrs or so.  When ready to serve, the chicken was removed from the casserole and over a medium hob the sauce was thickened with just a little cornflour paste.  Changing the consistency of the liquid with a little cornflour has quite a marked effect on the richness of the taste.  I firmly believe that it is the concentrated taste of the ‘jus’ that you are preserving here, so we are looking for just a little cornflour paste to ‘make the sauce flow just a little more slowly’!  The Sauce was stirred until it thickened.  It was then seasoned with salt and pepper and the chicken returned to the sauce.  Ideally at this point add and stir in some chopped parsley to finish.

Serve in warmed bowls either with rice or just some crusty bread ……. delicious!

Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge is available from Absolute Press


Simple Cock au Vin

October 17, 2018
: 6
: 17 hr
: Easy

A simplified Cock au Vin made with chicken thighs

By:

Ingredients
  • 12 large skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (around 1Kg)
  • 300ml red wine
  • Olive oil spray
  • Smoked lardon around 165g
  • 300g baby onions, peeled
  • 225g carrots, diced
  • 150g celery, diced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 300g button mushrooms
  • 450ml fresh chicken stock or a single 'stockpot' water added later if required
  • 2-3 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tbsp water
  • A handful of chopped parsley
Directions
  • Step 1 Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, put in a bowl and add 300ml of red wine.  Leave overnight in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours.  
  • Step 2 Light the Big Green Egg and set up for indirect cooking at around 130C.
  • Step 3 Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade for later. Dry the chicken on kitchen towel and spray with oil on each side. Sear directly in batches until well browned then set aside.  
  • Step 4 Fry the lardon until they begin to release their fat and slightly crisp.  Add the onions and the diced carrots and sauté for 2-3 mins then add the celery, thyme, mushrooms and reserved marinade.  
  • Step 5 Bring to the boil and add the chicken stock.  (If using a ‘stock pot’ a little water may need to be added later). The pot should be brought back to the simmer and the chicken pieces returned.  
  • Step 6 Put the Dutch Oven onto the EGG with the lid off and cook for around 3hrs or so.  When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the casserole and thicken the sauce with just a little cornflour paste.  Season with salt and pepper and return chicken to the sauce.  Stir in some chopped parsley to finish.
  • Step 7 Serve in warmed bowls either with rice or just some crusty bread.



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