" This favorite, french classic, pronounced as 'chicken cok-a-vaen' , is often asked for, by my family and friends, over the last 20 years. My spikier version, is an ideal party dish, as it's made 3-4 hours before and the flavours mature and mingle and form the most velvety , bacon-chicken-wine combination ever..."
- 1 chicken cut into 16 pieces
- 100 grams bacon chunks
- 2 tbsp ( 30 grams) flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp butter
- 250 grams small onions
- 200 grams mushrooms
- 11/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup cognac (optional, else use wine only)
- 6 cloves garlic ( crushed)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 stick cardamom (2 inch)
- 6-8 peppercorns
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 tsp dried thyme ( or 1 tbsp fresh thyme)
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tbsp oil ( olive or vegetable)
- 1 1/2 cup water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Wash, dry and season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, keep on the side.
- In a thick wide bottomed pan or flat wok, stir fry the mushroom in 1/2 tbsp butter. Take out, when all liquid has evaporated, in a big side dish
- In the same pan, add 1/2 tbsp oil, add the onions and stir fry on high till lightly brown. Again take out in the side dish (same as the mushrooms)
- In the same pan, add the bacon bits and cook till brown and crispy and has left all its fat.Again take out in the side dish( pile on top of the mushrooms & onions)
- If the bacon fat is enough, brown the chicken pieces till golden on both sides, in a single layer, in the same fat (if not add 1 tbsp oil).
- Add the cognac, let it cook through. Then take out and pile the chicken in the side dish, on all the other ingredients ( scrape out as much from the pan as possible of the bottom bits and keep with the chicken)
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil, and the spices ( bay leaf, cardamom, cloves & peppercorns) and stir fry for 2-3 min, till brown and fragrant.
- Add the garlic cloves and stir fry till transparent and the raw smell has disappeared.
- Mix the 2 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp butter
- Now add the flour and butter mixture to the hot pan and cook till brown, till raw smell has disappeared
- Blend 1/2 cup of water (little at a time),mixing all the time, till a thick paste is formed ( the roux).
- Add the wine, thyme and season to taste, bringing the mixture to a boil.
- Add all the ingredients from the side dish ( mushroom, onion, chicken & bacon), making sure all the juices are added back.
- Cook through either on stove top for 30 minutes or in a pre-heated oven (150 degrees C) for 30 minutes, till yummy and done.
- To get the perfect roux ( flour and butter and water paste), mix equal quantities of butter and four. Cook it, till raw smell is removed and mixture is lightly toasted. Add in cool water, little by little, mixing it in at each stage for the perfect paste. In case the roux, is lumpy, just beat with a whisk till smooth or strain it, if beating also does not work.
- The gravy should be smooth and thick enough to coat back of spoon, if not add some cornflour and water to thicken the dish.
- Do cook it 3-4 hrs before serving, to really get the best flavours.