So Bill Granger has hit London! Actually he, and his beautiful family, have been here for a while. The London food scene is at such an exciting time it has managed to entice him away from sunny Sydney. Bill has been spending his time in London getting a feel for the city, and looking for the right place to open an outpost of the famous Australian ‘Bills’. He has certainly not been idle though, publishing his 8th book while he has been here.Once again Bill doesn’t disappoint, divided into Baking, Breakfast, Soup, Salad etc, he makes it easy to find what you need. I have used many of Bill’s recipes in the past and they have all worked. All of them. I’m sure this book will continue to do the same. There is a great mix of recipes, in a clean line, beautifully photographed book.
I thought I would try out the Bill’s take on Coq au Vin. It was so so simple and the aroma coming from the oven was enough to convince me I was in for a good lunch.
Bill’s Coq au Vin
1.5kg chicken, jointed
150g diced bacon or lardons
10 french shallots, peeled
a few thyme sprigs
a rosemary sprig
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
250mls white wine
a small knob of butter
350g mixed mushrooms (such as oyster and chestnut), sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife
a small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 220°C/ gas mark 7.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting tin and scatter the bacon, shallots, thyme, rosemary and chilli flakes. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and roast for 20 mins.
Add the wine to the tin and roast for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven.
Heat the butter and remaining olive oil in frying pan and cook the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Tip into the tin and scatter over the parsley.
Bill is not a trained chef, just a guy who loves food. I think this is one of the things that makes his recipes work. He understands the demands of a busy life. His recipes look, and are, so simple yet they yield great taste with minimal effort. Fresh, simple flavours.
Thank you to Quadrille Publishing for providing my copy of Bill’s Basics.