Mother to five, parent in progress and occasional kitchenista cookerella

Tag: food

Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

My first attempt at Coq Au Vin is recorded here.  This classic French dish premiered fashionably in my trusty Dutch Oven…which is made in France by the way. Cry foul or cry fowl, if you will, because this dish is just unjustifiably good.


There is absolutely nothing, NOTHING that can go wrong when you start with frying some lardon (or more commonly known as bacon) and you leave the drippings of that in the pot to brown the chicken, and leave the drippings of that to fry the onions, celery, garlic, carrots, cremini (brown) mushrooms, potatoes and whatever else have you (it doesn’t matter really because whatever is in that oil is already a winner).

The stars–definitely the wine. Slush up the crusted drippings at the end of the pot with some white wine (I used Hua tiao jiu because am fusion and brave like that), followed by the deep rich red wine. Throw in the herbs; bay leaf, thyme, tomato paste to give some tang and then the chicken stock/water and then you whack it in the oven.

Out comes magic. Fall apart chicken and the flavours of the rich braise in velvety wine. Julia Child might be proud.

Ingredients (Serves 8)
200g back bacon (cut into thick strips)
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg or so of Chicken parts (I used 3legs and 6 thighs)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup Hua Tiao Jiu or any cognac or white wine
1 big yellow onion diced
2 carrots diced
2-3 sticks celery diced
500g fresh cremini (brown) mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 potatoes
3 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves smashed
2 cups of good red wine
2 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp of tomato paste

1. Toss in the bacon in a heavy casserole or dutch oven and fry the bacon with olive oil on medium heat till oil renders and lightly brown. Transfer bacon out and leave drippings in pot.

2. Pat dry chicken parts and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken till nicely brown on both sides. Work in batches, turning frequently and don’t crowd the pan so chicken can brown evenly.

3. Set aside chicken and leave the drippings. Fry the onion, celery till its aromatic and onions soft, 5-8min, add in garlic, carrot, bay leave, mushrooms, and thyme herbs. Fry for a few minutes.

4. Pour in the Hua tiao Jiu or cognac and let it deglaze the pan and bits at the bottom. Now add in the red wine and cook for about 8minutes. Add the tomato paste and flour. Paste should be thickish and slurry. Add in the chicken stock next and bring to boil over the stove. Return the chicken to the pot and add potatoes. Simmer on medium low for 20minutes on stove.

4. For fall apart chicken, pull out some chicken pieces to the top of the Dutch oven/casserole and put uncovered in oven for another 20minutes at 200degrees. This is to let the chicken brown and crisp nicely.

Easy DIY Cupcake Stand!

This DIY Cupcake Stand on a budget can be done up in 15 minutes with simple materials you have in your kitchen at home. 

Initially, I was entertaining fancy ideas on heading out into the stores to look for a pretty cupcake stand to go with my daughter’s birthday cupcakes and maybe a dozen helium balloons. It would be pretty, pink and perfect. 

Well, Budget mum won and kicked perfectionism to the curb. Saving the earth takes priority as opposed to creating Pinterest worthy snaps of our unreal life. 

We chose to save our time, money and use whatever we could scavage from our kitchen drawers. 

Best decision ever. 

The five year old was more than squealing to help put this together: 2 IKEA cups-check. 2 paper plates, recycle a cake base with contact paper or wrapping paper and a steaming rack.

It wasn’t super pretty nor perfect looking. I reckon I could’ve added a ribbon or two but am happy with the outcome!

It’s functional and can be put together AND dismantled in quick time!

Here’s sharing our 15 minute DIY Cupcake Stand Tutorial for the budget conscious! Read more here on what we actually did to make birthday memories! 

DIY Cupcake Stand 15mins max

Here’s all you need

:1. A cake base (we used a recycled one)
2. Wrapping paper (pretty ones!…we used contact paper as I only had was easy to stick on too.)
3. Two plastic Ikea cups
4. 1 paper plate
5. Round steamer rack
5. Glue, scissors, blue tack


1. Cut contact paper, wrapping paper to fit cake board and paper plate. Stick and glue on. Add trimmings, stickers,ribbons if you like on the borders.

2. Position some blue tack on the rim of the cup, invert and stick on to big cake base. Position some blue tack on base of cup and stick on paper plate.

3. Use a steaming rack to raise the height beneath the big cake base. Arrange cupcakes to balance.

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