And then there came a day unlike any other* when I decided it would be a good idea to take all the delicious elements of Coq Au Vin and put them in a sandwich.
It was a good day.
I was having leftover Coq Au Vin for lunch one day and mopping up all the deliciousness with a nice piece of bread and had a moment. I will now recreate that moment through a short playscript.
INT. KITCHEN. LUNCHTIME.
Me: THIS IS SO DELICIOUS.
My Brain: We should make this into a sandwich.
Me: Holy smokes! How would we create such a devilish treat?
My Brain: Let’s get Katie in on this.
Me: Good thinking, Brain. *texts Katie*
Katie: *is the ideas person*
And so this sandwich was born. Was it a labour of love? Yes. Did it take longer than your usual lunchtime repast? Yes. Was it worth it? HELLZ YES.
Let me talk briefly about the ridiculous deliciousness that is this bacon jam. I had read a lot about bacon jam. I was unconvinced. Sure, I like bacon but do I really require it in jam form? I didn’t think so. However, Katie’s crafty bacon jam genius began to win me over. She cooked and stirred and simmered and I knew it would be delicious. AND THEN SHE ADDED HONEY. HOLY MACKEREL, YOU GUYS. It took it from ‘good’ to ‘out of this freaking world’ – honestly!
If you take nothing else away from this post, let it be this: go and make the bacon and red wine jam. Then come back and thank us.
Also, shout out to Katie who wrote nearly all of the this post but I am totally taking the author credit for.
Coq Aux Vins Sandwich
This amount of everything served 3 and we totally didn’t need to eat again for the rest of the day. Soooo, non-greedy portion: 6ish?
For the bacon and red wine jam:
- 6 rashers streaky bacon (start with 6 full rashers of middle bacon; separate into streaky, with rind removed and discarded. Keep the large rounds aside to fry later in the sandwich)
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 1 tsp vegetable oil or olive oil
- 2 stalks thyme
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 ⅓ cups red wine
- ½ tsp honey
For the mushrooms:
- 3 large field mushrooms (or one mushroom per serving)
- 25 grams butter, thinly sliced
- 3 stalks of thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp white wine
For the chicken:
- glug of oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 stalks thyme
For sandwich construction:
- 3 pasta dura rolls (we chose not to make our own bread on this occasion; we were being sensible)
- couple of handfuls of rocket
- aforementioned rounds of bacon, pan-fried
- butter or mayonnaise (optional)
First, make the bacon jam:
In a medium saucepan, over moderate heat, render bacon in the oil. Add shallots, garlic & thyme, cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are translucent (approx 5 minutes), remove the thyme stalks. Turn up the heat, add the red wine and bring to boil.
Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, add honey, a pinch of salt and a little pepper, cook low and sloooooow for about an hour (or until the wine has been completely reduced and you are left with a sticky, jammy pot of deliciousness).
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, you’ll use it all if you make 3 – 4 serves. Maybe more if you are not us and don’t eat several heaping tablespoons while you wait for the chicken to cook.
Then, roast yourself some mushrooms:
Preheat oven to 175C.
Slice the mushrooms into 1 cm thick slices/slabs of shroomy goodness.
Line a high side oven tray with baking paper, then lay out the thin slices of butter on top. Lay the sliced field mushrooms over the butter.
Sprinkle with thyme stalks, drizzle with olive oil and white wine, season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 minutes, mushrooms should be golden brown and beginning to curl on the edges, but still soft and juicy in the middle.
Now, cook your chicken in a way that has completely revolutionised my chicken cooking:
Heat the oil in a frying pan that has a lid. The lid is very important! Add the shallot and saute for a minute or so, until it is nicely translucent. Chuck in the thyme and stir it around.
Put the chicken fillets into the pan, top-side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over the breasts, add the white wine and then add the salt. Put the lid on and turn the heat down low and leave it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Check the doneness of the chicken by slicing through the thickest part — as we then sliced it up for the sandwiches, I went pretty blade happy but you could make a nice subtle little cut — and the juice should run clear.
Remove from the pan and let it stand for a few minutes before slicing it as it will burn your fingers and then you will come crying to us.
Finally, make yourself some sandwiches!
Cut your rolls in half and if you feel like using butter or mayonnaise, slather it on.
Put a layer of jammy bacony goodness on the bottom half of the roll and then artistically arrange rocket on top of that. The rocket was our nod to the fact that it was a sandwich and should probably have some sort of salad in it. Top that with mushroom slices and then the bacon rounds. Finally place your chicken slices on top of that. Pop the top of the roll back on and then ponder your good work.
Sit down and enjoy. It’ll probably take you a while to get through this gargantuan sandwich.
*what up, Avengers fans?