Sunday, 19 February 2012

Coq au Vin and Old Photos and Curry

A while ago, Mum was sorting out some old photos. I'm not sure why, but our family photos never got put into albums or anything. Maybe it was because we couldn't afford much when I was little, and just never bothered when we could.

For some reason, a few were left out in the kitchen. I assume they're waiting to be scanned into the computer. So I thought I'd share a few of me with you.


Aren't I just the cutest thing. Apparently I'm always wearing jumpers. Even the Boyfriend's mum commented on it recently. Jumpers are stylish. (Note how me and my brother are matching).

Now I understand why people weren't that surprised when I came out. And if you think I'm running in this one, you're wrong. I'm probably skipping.

Look, I'm slim!!! Believe it or not, once upon a time I use to be a little sporty. Swimming and football were sports. Talking of which...


Me after a game of football. I use to play centre back and was nicknamed Rhino because of the way I'd tackle. Not many got past me. 

I had an injury to my cruciate ligament when I was 17. Had an operation, but never really got back into playing much after that. Though I did play 5-a-side at when I was at Winchester. Wish I still played.

Nowadays, my passion lies with food. And this weekend saw me mostly in the kitchen cooking. 

I had some chillies left over from cooking a Green Prawn Curry last week and, rather than waste them, decided to make a curry paste. 

After a quick Google, and clicking on the first link, I found Jamie Oliver's recipes for curry pastes. I tripled the recipe and came out with this...

Korma curry paste.

I'm totally aware that it looks like a mess. But I used it and it tasted awesome. Fresh, well spiced.

Afterwards, I rolled the rest into a sausage shape, in cling film, and froze it. Then I can just cut off what I need and make a quick curry.

I love curry.

What was I blogging about again? oh yeah. Coq au vin. 

If you didn't see it on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or Pinterest or wherever, here's a video I made.

I used the recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and in it she says "Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match". I think standing on the other side of the kitchen and throwing a match might be safer.

(Note: Don't throw lighted matches. It was a joke).

After the flames went out I was brave enough to approach the pan again.

Because the recipe isn't mine, I'm not going to post it. But I'll quickly run through what the basics are.

  • Brown some bacon and chicken (I used the thighs and drumsticks I had from de-boning a couple of chickens).
  • Pour in some cognac and (carefully, very carefully) set it alight.
  • Add some red or white wine (I used red), thyme, tomato paste, garlic, stock (that I'd made from the chicken carcasses after de-boning).
  • Separately sautée some mushrooms and onions.
  • Thicken the chicken sauce with a roux (although Julia used a beurre manié).
It was really, really good.

Julia says that, in France, coq au vin is traditionally only served with "parsley potatoes". I think that means boiled potatoes served with parsley - can you correct me if I'm wrong. But anyway, I served it with parsley mashed potatoes, which is your basic mash but with lots of parsley mixed through it.


  1. Hello! Just to let you know I have awarded you with a versatile blogger award and I have a link to your blog on my mine. But if you don't want to do it or accept that is absoloutly fine, but thought I would let you know! Amazing looking food by the way!

  2. This post was inspired by a long weekend I spent browing your blog! So thanks for what you do, and thanks for your comments here.