Coq au Vin

WARNING: I am a seat-of-the-pants kind of cook. I royally suck at quantities and formal method. If you are looking for an EXACT recipe that will give you the EXACT same results every time: bad luck, this is not it! This recipe reflects what I did today. How similar is that to what I did the previous time? I THINK it is close but not too sure about that… And my wife asked me to write what I did after the event. That is after eating a whole lot of good food and a couple of glasses of red wine. How accurate do you think this is going to be after that? But what we had sure as heck tasted magnificent!!!!

Two of us ate this and there was enough left over for like 3 more people, I think. That would make this recipe suitable for sort of fivish people like us. Depends on how hungry you are and how much you eat.

Ingredients (sorta kinda plus minus…)
12 (or maybe 15? Depends on size I suppose) small/medium shallots. Come to think of it if I had my druthers my absolute preference would be like 20 cocktail onion size whole shallots.
Like 9 or so chicken thighs
20ml Olive oil (I think… How much do you need to brown shallots and chicken anyhow?)
20ml crushed garlic. Personal opinion? With garlic more is always better!
400ml red wine (this is to go into the dish. How much else you want is up to you).
75ml Tomato paste
1 tin Tomato & onion mix
Salt to taste
Chicken or Steak & chop spice. Or just a bit more salt if you do not have this stuff or do not like MSG.
Basil (he’s a good friend of mine so I always ask him over when we are cooking…. OK, OK, that’s a joke! But I do not know how much basil: just enough to lightly spice the chicken).
5 Bay leaves. Note: for those of you phonetically inclined: that is BAY LEAVES, not BAILEY’S: you add it to the food, you do not drink it! Well, feel free to drink whatever you want while you are cooking: this is just not an instruction as to WHAT you are supposed to drink.
200ml water
Brown sugar to taste (50ml? Sounds OK to me!)
200g smaller button mushrooms. If you cannot find button mushrooms, get larger mushrooms and cut away everything that turns small mushrooms into larger mushroom. And then use what you cut away as well. Or quarter them if that is easier.

In a large pot lightly brown/caramelize the shallots in the olive oil. If they are small enough keep them whole (preferred), otherwise cut in half (slightly bigger ones) or quarters (much bigger ones).
Remove and set aside
Brown and spice the chicken thighs in the olive oil in the pot
When almost done: add garlic
When garlic is sorta kinda roasted: add red wine, water, tomato paste, tomato & onion mix.… Well, really like everything except the shallots and mushrooms.
BTW: I boil the water before adding otherwise it cools everything down and that isn’t cool.
Bring the whole shebang to boil and simmer enthusiastically for 45 minutes. I keep the pot open to facilitate boiling off excess moisture.
Add shallots and mushrooms. I do this because I do not like mushy shallots/onions and/or mushrooms.
Simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes. Once again: I keep the pot open to facilitate boiling off excess moisture and get everything nice and concentrated and super tasty.

Serve with rice and your choice of fresh vegetables.

Source: My husband’s own creation – Esme‘s kitchen

Midway through our meal, my husband said to me, that I have not taken a picture, so this represents his plate, already halfway eaten.  Luckily I did manage to get one.

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