Seldom do I buy the frozen meat replacements these days but earlier this week I had a hankering for something ‘meaty’ in texture so I bought some of the vegetarian ‘chicken’ pieces. Last night I was in no mood to cook and the hubster wasn’t terribly hungry after eating a big lunch at 3pm, yet somehow I managed to find inspiration when struck with the idea of a vegetarian Coq au Vin (Hen in wine) and seeing as there was ‘chicken’ in the freezer what better time to try it out.
I dug out my Williams-Sonoma cook book as given to me by a friend for our wedding yet sadly not used enough as we’re now veggie, and I began translating the recipe for my own use. If you keep up with my occasional foodie blog posts you’ll know I loathe measuring and so if you’re a stickler for precise measures you might as well google ‘vegetarian coq au vin’ now and find someone else’s recipe. Otherwise you are very welcome to join in my chaotic cookery and make recommendations in the comments.
- Package frozen veggie ‘chicken’ (or another replacement such as tempeh or tofu)
- Bottle dry medium red wine
- Vegetable broth or stock
- salt and pepper
- Butter (unsalted preferably)
- Mushrooms, cut in half
- Carrots, chopped
- Onions (I was out so used a leek), chopped
- Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Plain flour
- Fresh or dried thyme
- Egg Noodles
1. Brown the ‘chicken’
In a heavy bottomed large pot, melt the butter (you’ll want enough to be left over for the veggies so don’t be too stingy) and season the ‘chicken’ with salt and pepper. Brown the pieces. Transfer to a bowl, reserving some butter in the pot.
2. Saute the vegetables
Using the butter left in the pot (or adding more if necessary), saute the mushrooms until golden. Add the onions (or leeks in my case), carrots and garlic and saute until softened. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of flour and stir. Pour in the red wine (if cooking a half pack of ‘chicken’ as I did, I used about a quarter of a bottle and poured myself a glass at this stage) and bring to a boil. When cooking with real meat, you’d deglaze the pot at this point, so if you’ve got any bits at the bottom, scrape them up to mix in. Pour in the broth or stock (I used about 1 mug which was a bit too much) and bring to a boil again.
3. Combine, simmer and enjoy!
Add the ‘chicken’ back in, stir it up and cover. Turn it down a bit and let it cook for 45 minutes or so to thicken. Have some pasta ready for when it finishes and pile it on top. Don’t forget to drink with a nice glass of vin!
Because I wasn’t measuring I did add too much broth as I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the proportions in my cookbook so I had to add a bit more flour to thicken it up. It tasted absolutely smashing though and the ‘chicken’ was a nice burgundy colour from lapping up the wine.