Not Au Vin

Chicken in cider, not in wine, and no whining on the result.

I did a great thing last night. An unusual thing. I blew out generations of classic French food law in favour of something Delia Smith half mentioned once upon a time. And that my friends was to basically make a coq au vin, without the vin. Hmmm. Now I do like the classic and I’ve made it quite a bit recently and even when I really enjoy it there’s often something not quite, well, I don’t know I feel it could be better. Yes, most things could be better and don’t we all know it but I have to say that following the successful experimentation last night of swapping the red wine for a bottle of cider, I will not be making anything Au Vin again for a while. The difference in depth of flavour was incredible, every morsel was a delight with the mingling notes of the smoky bacon and earthy mushrooms and a moreish salty-sweet finish. The perfect dinner for a frosty October evening. I repeat, a delight. Maybe the wine over powers the other parts in an Au Vin. Maybe the apple base of the cider just naturally pairs so well with the bacon to flavour the liquor. Who can say, but I would strongly recommend giving this a go next time you need a big fat comfort dinner, you wont be disappointed. I can also make this entire dish with locally sourced and produced ingredients, which makes me happy, but I’ll be harping on enough about regional shopping and the joys of native cuisine in blogs to come so enough of that for now.

To make your own follow this recipe here swapping the red wine for a medium or dry cider and cut back on the chicken stock, leave out the tomato puree and thyme altogether. Lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve in a big bowl on a cold night when your system needs a little boost. Yummo. 🙂

I should add for the benefits of those readers across the pond that I am referring to British cider in this dish which is a sparkling apple based alcoholic drink, not the hot sweet thing you guys call cider and drink at Christmas! 

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