I just remembered that while I was stuck on that plane last week coming back from being an international businessman (shame I don’t get international businessman pay BTW) there was a salesman sitting behind me next to an English undergraduate.
I know this because the guy didn’t stop talking from the moment I sat down until the moment I got up, opened the rear door and threw myself out at 22,000ft.
Okay I didn’t do that but honestly I would have rather been stuck next to a 300lb screaming monster-baby. With a bad vomiting bug.
Now this guy couldn’t stop talking because a) he was a salesman and b) he was nervous (probably because of the dodgy engine; see the last post). But he was scaring the hell out of the student. She was laughing in that hysterical way you would do as someone explains to you that the reason they say get into the ‘brace’ position if you are unlucky enough to be in an airplane disaster scenario isn’t to try to save your life, it’s to try and keep your teeth in your face so they can identify your body from dental records. Nice.
That guy was an arsehole but his buddy was worse – some kind of Eastern European who was trying to chat this girl up by explaining that his girlfriend had left him and that he was looking for love because he had ‘biological needs’. Really? Keeping looking mate you’re going to be in it for the long haul.
Anyway, after a particularly stressy work week I decided to unwind with a serious dose of cooking. I decided to try Coq au Vin again. This time with croissant!
For Coq au Vin with Croissant Cobbler (based on something I found in the BBC Good Food magazine) you will need
- olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- punnet button mushrooms
- 5 chantenay carrots
- 1 cup lardons
- 6 chicken thigh fillets, skin off
- 2 glasses red wine
- 1/2 pint chicken stock
- 1 generous glug brandy (a glug is whatever you want it to be)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- sprig of thyme
- big knob of butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
For the cobblers
- 1 pack ready to roll croissant dough
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
First get a Dutch oven and heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and bacon and fry for a couple of minutes
This is easy I just realised. Now add the chicken, wine, stock, brandy, bay leaves and tomato paste
Bring the pot to the boil, add the thyme and turn down to a low simmer
Add the carrots and leave to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Then add the carrots and continue to simmer for another 25 mins.
Meanwhile make the croissant cobblers. Open the amazing exploding pastry pack.
Unravel the pastry. Squeeze the diagonal tear marks together a bit and then split the pastry into three along the vertical marks. Mix the butter, garlic and herbs and spread over the pastry
Roll the pastry up into three rolls
Cut each roll into four. Place evenly on the baking sheet
Pop in a preheated oven at 180 centigrade for 10 mins. Now back to the Coq au Vin. It needs thickening. Combine the butter and flour and then stir into the gloop until it dissolves (not too hard, you don’t want the chicken to fall to bits)
Continue to simmer with the lid off. Nearly ready. This is making me hungry and I’ve already eaten it.
Pop the cobblers on top of the chicken
Serve up with a nice red wine (as opposed to a not-nice one)
Out of ten I would give this ten. Actually I ate so much of it I felt a bit ill.