When the late Christen Monge handed me a glass of Kingscote The Bacchus wine I really didn’t expect to like it. I don’t generally like white wine unless I’m drinking it with food but this was rather pleasant. Dry yet floral with plenty of citrus notes. It was a pleasure to drink.
I also thought it would be good to cook with. At £16.45 a bottle I know this seems a tad extravagant. But there are many chefs who would happily state that you should only ever cook with a wine you are prepared to drink. I think this is particularly true if the wine is to be a prominent feature of the dish as it is here.
This recipe is adapted from Coq au Riesling in Real Food by the wonderful Nigel Slater. It’s deliciously decadent and like Nigel I agree it needs nothing more than a green salad and perhaps some bread to go with it (you absolutely cannot waste this wonderful sauce).
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 8 chicken thighs with skin and on the bone
- 80g smoked pancetta or streaky bacon pieces
- 8 shallots, peeled and left whole
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 200g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml The Bacchus wine
- 200g mascarpone cheese
- 3 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to season
- Put the butter and oil in a large, lidded, shallow casserole or frying pan and heat until the butter has melted. Brown the chicken thighs over a medium heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and reserve until required.
- Add more oil if necessary to the pan then add the pancetta or bacon and cook until beginning to brown then add the shallots. Once the shallots start to take on some colour add the garlic and mushrooms. Continue to cook for a minute or two.
- Tip the flour into the pan and cook for a minute before adding the wine, stirring as you do so. Once the sauce is bubbling and beginning to thicken return the chicken to the casserole. Cover and simmer for about 25 – 30 minutes turning the chicken from time to time. Once the chicken is cooked remove from the pan then add the mascarpone, chopped tarragon and seasoning. If the sauce seems too thick for your liking you can always thin it with a bit more wine (assuming you haven’t already drunk it!). Once these have been thoroughly incorporated return the chicken to the pan and serve as described above.
You can make this recipe in advance. Cook the chicken as described above but do not add the mascarpone or tarragon until the chicken has been thoroughly reheated.