Coq aux Herbes.

I had planned to make something else that evening, but our friend Denny, who is not in the best of health, was not up to anything spicy so I did something similar but much more bland. The result was exceptionally good, the elderflower lending a sweetish back-taste that nicely complimented the subtle hint of spices [which Denny did not notice]. Quatre-épices is a traditional French spice mix with various recipes. Your can easily make your own; try 2 parts white pepper and 1 each of ginger, nutmeg and cloves.



25g butter.

¼ cup olive oil.

1 medium onion, finely chopped.

10cm celery, finely chopped.

¼ tsp Quatre-épices.

400g diced lean chicken meat.

½ cup white vermouth of dry white wine

¼ cup hazelnut syrup.

Salt to taste.

½ cup chopped fresh mixed herbs.

½ cup fresh cream.



Heat the oil and butter in small pan over a hot flame. Sauté the meat until sealed all over. Add the onion and celery, sprinkle with the Quatre-épices and the salt, and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the wine and the hazelnut syrup, bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquor is reduced by three quarters. Stir through the herbs, reserving a little for garnish, and the cream, bring to the boil and serve immediately garnished with the reserved herbs.


Serve with: Sliced green beans and roast potatoes on the side.


Serves: 2.

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