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Monday 24 August 2015

Coq Au Vin : Remembering The Swinging Sixties !

The 'swinging sixties', what a decade that was! After shaking off and coming through the post war austerity and food rationing of the Fifties Britain was ready to let loose in the sixties. 

There were revolutions in fashion, in music and cooking. People were getting 'fitted' kitchens and new appliances for the first time, and discovering new favourite foods.

Cookbooks by Elizabeth David and Marguerite Patten inspired many to try new recipes, particularly Mediterranean food, at a time when garlic and olive oil were still considered exotic ingredients.

Chicken had been an expensive luxury but thanks to new farming methods, it became widely available and cheaper, which allowed people to experiment more with different recipe ideas.

Models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy were style icons.

Image result for twiggy 1960s

Twiggy in the 1960's

Image result for vespa scooter 1965

Mods rode around on Vespa scooters - well as pink is my favourite colour!

Music was changing too ... The Beatles and The Rolling Stones introduced us to new sounds and new hairstyles!

Although TV was still in black and white we saw Football fever hit 'fever-pitch' when England won the World Cup in 1966.

Image result for words of mans first step on moon

... and who could forget watching man's first step on the moon in 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and described the event as "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

A favourite dish of the 60's was Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin

Ingredients (serves four)
1 large free range chicken, jointed
1 bottle of red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 small leek
1 stick of celery
1 carrot
1 medium onion ( I like to use a red onion)
2 gloves garlic
12 small button mushrooms
100g of pancetta, cut into cubes of about 1cm
6 - 8 shallots (baby pearl onions)

1. Separate the thighs from the drumsticks and place in a suitably sized tub or zip-lock bag. Crush the garlic, then chop the carrot, celery, onion and leek into rough 1cm dice and add everything to the chicken along with the wine, thyme and bay leaf. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a day. Put the chicken breasts aside for another recipe. Make a simple stock with carcass - crush slightly and snugly fit it into a medium - small pot. Cover with cold water and bring it to the boil slowly, skimming off any 'scum' that may rise. Simmer gently for three hours, then strain and discard the bones. Reduce the stock by half and place in the fridge until needed.

2. Heat the oven to 180C. Transfer the chicken and it's marinade to a roasting tray, then bring it to the boil on the stove top (hob) and simmer for three minutes to remove the alcohol. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

3. Meanwhile heat a frying pan and cook the pancetta, shallots and mushrooms over a high flame / heat until nice and golden. Add the chicken stock to de-glaze, then simmer until the mushrooms and shallots are just tender. Set aside.

4. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the tray and pat the skin dry with kitchen towel. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan, add the chicken stock poured off from the mushrooms and shallots pan. Bring to the boil and reduce by about two thirds, until it is dark and rich. Season to taste.

5. While the sauce is reducing crisp the chicken skin in a frying pan, heat some oil over a medium to low flame / heat and brown the chicken, being careful not to burn it. The skin should be dark and caramelised. Serve with the mushrooms, shallots, pancetta and sauce poured over.

This really is a great classic ......yes it takes time BUT it's so worth it.

Recipe also featured here

Hope you've enjoyed this flashback.

All the best Jan


eileeninmd said...

Those were the days. I still love the Beatles and Rolling Stones. And I remember Twiggy, wishing I could look like her, lol! Sounds like a yummy meal, thanks for sharing the recipe.
Enjoy your day and have a happy new week ahead!

Jo said...

Yes, I did enjoy the flashback Jan. I am originally from the UK and didn't emigrate til 1975 so I remember everything you mentioned. I was actually in Yugoslavia when they landed on the moon so missed the actual events although heard it on the radio in a taxi to the airport. I so remember first getting garlic and people being afraid to use it because it made your breath stinky. My dad brought home so bananas during the war (he was on transport command and flew to India and Africa. You have really stirred up the memories for me.

Didn't know you had diabetes. Should have found you before this I guess. I was diagnosed in '04 but seem to have gone into remission except that as I said, I am having a lot of lows.

Love coq au vin but haven't had it in years.

Martha said...

A really fun post! I was born in the 60s, so I was too young to truly appreciate all the excitement. But it's fun to learn about it. And thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Lowcarb team member said...

Eileen, many thanks for your comment.
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones ... so many have, and still are enjoying their music.
Wishing you a happy week too.

All the best Jan

Jo said...

I was less than a year old when man first stepped on the moon but I do like looking back at what was going on at different times. Coq Au Vin is a favourite here.

Lowcarb team member said...

Jo, a very warm hello from all of us at the low carb diabetic blog ... lovely to read your comment. I am not a diabetic but Eddie my husband is a Type 2 diabetic, and since diagnosis seven years ago we both changed our lifestyle. We now both eat from a LCHF food template.
That is low carbohydrate, higher healthy fats and moderate protein.
Our daily carbohydrate in-take is no more than 50 per day, but this is balanced with the healthy fats / moderate protein. It has resulted in Eddie requiring minimal medication of two metformin pills per day and his blood sugars are always in the non diabetic range. I choose to live this lifestyle because I do believe that eating too many carbohydrates / sugars does your body and health no favours. In fact Alzheimer's is very often referred to as Type 3 Diabetes ... and as Alzheimer's runs in my family I think a LCHF food template is wise. I was sorry to read you are experiencing blood sugar problems and hope that you can get it sorted. I don't know if you are on insulin or not but obviously take guidance from your health care team.

With the swinging sixties or indeed any decade, there are indeed moments in life when we always remember where we were on that day and of course the moon landing was one of them! A very special moment in time.

Hope you enjoy the Coq Au Vin - it is a lovely recipe ... I serve mine with mashed swede which is another lovely low carb food.

Have a good week and take care

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Martha - thanks for your comment. It was an interesting post to do and I could have put so much more in. A great decade, I was born in the 50's so do remember it reasonably well...

I believe Twiggy is still modelling, she did a lot of work for Marks and Spencer at one time, but I believe does a lot of freelance work.

This is a lovely recipe and smells great too whilst it's cooking!

Have a good week - hope your one job a day resolution is still going well !

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello there Jo - hope the weather in your part of the UK is better than ours. Rain, rain go away!

Coq Au Vin is a great recipe - glad to hear all the family like it. Bet you can use a lot of your lovely home grown vegetables when you make it.

Have a great week.

All the best Jan

Mrs Vimes said...

Think I'm going to try this one on Saturday Jan. I fancy the almond flour Victoria sponge as well for pudding. With cream. Lots of it. I bet you looked cool on a vespre. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

What a fun read and lovely recipe too. Will try it out.

Jenny S

Jo said...

In response to your reply Jan. I was on 4 Metformin a day. I then lost 46 lbs (I don't think in stone any more) and now don't take Metformin at all. I eat a well balanced diet, but eat what I like but always in moderation.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Mrs Vimes ... yes do try this out on Saturday it really is a tasty dish.
How about trying the mandarin low carb sponge?
See here

... I just had to choose a pink vespre - well it is my favourite colour!

Hope you've managed to stay out of the rain today

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Jenny, and thanks you for your comment. Hope you can try out the recipe soon - so glad you enjoyed the post.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello again Jo, thanks for coming back to me. That was a good weight loss, very similar to what my husband Eddie did. He does have to restrict his carb / sugar intake because if he eats too much his blood sugar levels go too high. I do swap higher carb foods like bread, pasta, rice, cakes and processed foods for a lower carb variety. For example mashed swede, roasted celeriac instead of potato. Zucchini / courgette and aubergine / eggplant instead of pasta. Cauliflower rice instead of ordinary rice. We make our own cakes using almond flour and do not eat highly processed foods.

This is a nice sponge recipe using almond flour, especially if you like strawberries

Or the mandarin orange one

...but as I said earlier do take care and perhaps see your Doctor / health care team so you can get your blood sugars checked out again. Eddie has a yearly check. However, some diabetics have them more often whilst others less often. I don't know what your health care situation is like.

But I do hope you can get things sorted.

All the best Jan

The Happy Whisk said...

Fun post and Happy Monday. Hope the rain clears up and you get some sunshine. Unless you enjoy the rain, we do here. Rain, snow, wind, or sunshine. It's all good.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi there Ivy - thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post.
Whatever the weather it's just best to get out and enjoy it ... but us Brits are well known for having the occasional moan about it to! LOL !

Hope your Monday went well - have a good week.

All the best Jan

chris c said...

Aaaaah flashbacks! I can remember Kennedy being shot, and Sputnik the first ever satellite too.

Yes my father was very scathing about what he called "foreign muck" but my mother had somewhat broader tastes in food.

I'm now realising that it was not *despite* but *because of* his liking for meat and lard that he lived into his eighties despite his heart being damaged when he was young (hyperthyroid). He was considered too ill to join the army and be sent to France to be killed in the war, but not too ill to drive a fire engine in the Blitz. Go figure.

I just passed on to my cousin who is keeping the "family archives" a whole bunch of old newspapers my mother had kept, including the moon landings, the death of the King, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the climbing of Everest . . . those were heady and optimistic times compared to today

Jo said...

Hi Jan, thought I'd just tell you, as you have an international audience, that swede in Canada is generally called turnip. What we call turnips are known as rutabagas.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Chris ... it doesn't seem possible that the sixties was all that time ago ... and the memories that decade can bring back. Yes indeed Friday, November 22, 1963 the date of the Kennedy shooting.

Sputnik was a little earlier - in the late 50's.

I will always remember the lard that was freely available, and all the family would eat it. Sure things like garlic were frowned upon - but not any more!

Interesting to hear your family archives are still in your family - that to me is important but alas over the years papers / photo's etc can be mis-placed or sadly thrown away. Memories can be so precious and it is of course in later life that we come to realise this .. well I have!

Great to read your thoughts and comment, thank you.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi there Jo, many thanks for coming back to comment.

Isn't it strange that the same vegetable can have a different name in different countries.
Our swede can be called neeps in Scotland I believe?
In some countries the UK swede is turnip and in other countries the UK swede is rutabaga.

Then of course you just have the humble turnip which is turnip in the UK but rutabaga in Canada! It can get confusing !!

I did do an article about swede a little while back because in the UK it is a good low carb food - do you eat a lot of it, mashed turnip.I wonder if they do differ slightly?

Here is a link to my article

Do hope you've had a good Monday

Thanks once again

All the best Jan

Gail said...

That looks so delicious.

I remember the moon walk. I loved the Beatles. Dad cut my hair just like Twiggy and many said I looked like her...well, that is certainly not the case now.

Born in '54 I was still young in the sixties but I had two older sisters so I got a stronger dose of the music, the manners and the mayhem that seemed to be the sixties then if I were an only child.

DeniseinVA said...

A ery interesting post Jan, brought back lots of memories. Great recipe too, always like those :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Gail - there certainly was a lot of things to remember about that decade. Certainly with two older sisters you would have heard them playing and talking about the music ... great times.
The moon walk was very special I think.
Glad you liked the recipe ... many thanks for your comment.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Denise, and thanks for your comment.
This was a fun and interesting post to do ... and I've always liked this recipe

Hope your week is going well.

All the best Jan