Bonjour, we have arrived in France. We didn’t have croissants for breakfast, this was a terrible mistake as they make a fabulous start to any day, neither did we consume a thick syrupy coffee standing up at a bar. Thank goodness I found a bottle of cognac given by a builder to us at Christmas, it set into play the possibility of having Coq au Vin. In France they serve frites, in other parts of the world known as skinny fries (sadly I only found thick chips so I had to substitute). The art galleries are truly inspiring in Paris, the smell of freshly baked baguettes, elegant language and beautifully dressed Parisians – what can I say, France is a wonderful country. To cheer us up, lets eat Coq au Vin and brie, drink French wine and dance on the table.
Low calorie cooking spray
4 rashers of bacon (130g)
3 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 chicken thighs, skin removed
2 chicken legs, skin removed
2 chicken breasts, skin removed
3 tablespoons of brandy or cognac
2 teaspoons of tomato puree
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
600 ml of red wine
150 ml of chicken stock (use 1 chicken stock cube)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
250g mushroom quarters
Parsley leaves, for garnish
Frites (skinny fries)
Green beans or carrots.
Macaroons & Madeline cakes
French Brie, cheese biscuits and French wine.
To make the Coq au Vin:
Use low calorie cooking spray to cook 4 rashers of bacon (130g), remove from frying pan. Fry 3 gloves of finely chopped garlic and 1 large onion finely chopped with spray. Set aside with the bacon.
Remove skin from 4 chicken thighs, 2 chicken legs and 2 chicken breasts, fry with low calorie cooking spray, add 3 tablespoons of brandy or cognac for 10 minutes, then add 2 teaspoons of tomato puree, 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 bay leaves, salt & pepper and 600 ml of red wine and 150 ml of chicken stock (use 1 chicken stock cube to make this). Add 2 tablespoons of plain flour, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Then add 250g mushroom quarters, bacon/garlic/onion and remove bay leaves/rosemary sprigs. Garnish with parsley leaves.
Serve with frites (skinny fries), green beans or carrots.
After the meal: serve macaroons & madeleine cakes with coffee and a cheese board including French brie and cheese biscuits. Serve meal with French wine.
For fun while you are eating dinner, think about discussing who are France’s most interesting artists, scientists, business people, inventors. Who is their greatest fashion designer?