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Anyone who has had the slightest contact with cooking knows that wine is used in small doses to liven up multiple dishes. What perhaps not many people know is that this drink also serves, in large quantities, as a cooking liquid in some classic dishes of Mediterranean European cuisine, in which it goes from supporting actor to protagonist. Today we put together three good examples: in Spain, the choricitos -in our case, chistorras- to wine; by France, the legendary Coq Au Vin or chicken with wine and, for Italy, the spaghetti all’ubriaco (something like drunk spaghetti).

For the first ones, we use a scent; for the second, a white wine, and for the pasta, a red. You do not have to throw the house out the window using a Vega Sicilia, but do not go to the cheapest tetrabrik in the supermarket: in the end the trace will remain on the plate, which will appreciate some decent wine. Important notice: during cooking, much of the alcohol disappears, but not all, so it is better not to serve these dishes to children, pregnant women or anyone who cannot drink it.

CHISTORRAS AL ODOROSO

Ingredients

For 4 people

  • 2 chistorras of about 200 g each (failing that, chorizo ​​or chorizo)
  • 220 ml of Oloroso
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Sherry vinager
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Put the wine and honey in a pan and heat them over medium heat until the honey dissolves.
  2. Add the chistorras and cook for about four minutes. Turn them over and cook for four more minutes.
  3. Reserve them and add to the pan, if you like, another tablespoon of honey, a good splash of Sherry vinegar and salt. Cook until the sauce binds and thickens a little.
  4. Serve the chistorras cut on bread with a little of the sauce on top.

SPAGHETTI ALL’UBRIACO‘(DRUNK SPAGHETTI)

Ingredients

For 4 people

  • 400 g of spaghetti
  • 750 ml of water
  • 750 ml of red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chilli, minced
  • Oil
  • Parsley
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Reserve a glass of the wine. Put the water and the remaining wine in a pot, add salt, bring to a boil and cook the spaghetti for two minutes less than what the manufacturer says.
  2. Heat the oil in another saucepan over low heat and add the sliced ​​garlic and the minced chilli.
  3. When the garlic is golden brown, add the reserved wine glass plus a jet of the cooking water and a pinch of salt.
  4. Increase the heat in the pan until the liquid comes to a boil.
  5. Strain the spaghetti, add to the pan and stir until a sauce forms.
  6. Add the chopped parsley, stir and serve the spaghetti with grated cheese on top.

‘COQ AU VIN’ (CHICKEN WITH WINE)

Recipe of Julia Child

Ingredients

For 4 people

  • 1 small chicken (approximately 1.5 kg, if larger cook longer)
  • 750 ml of fruity white wine (chardonnay, verdejo …)
  • 1 l chicken broth
  • 100 g of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Cognac or brandy
  • Parsley
  • Salt and black pepper

Preparation

  1. Coarsely chop the bacon and brown it in a saucepan with half the butter over medium heat.
  2. Let the rest of the butter warm.
  3. Dry the chicken well, put it in the casserole and brown it all over. Salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook for five minutes, flip the chicken, cover again and cook 5 more minutes.
  5. Add a good splash of brandy and flambé.
  6. When the flames have gone out, add the wine, the necessary amount of broth to cover almost all the chicken, the tomato paste, the crushed garlic, the bay leaf and thyme to taste. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  7. Remove the chicken, raise the heat, and simmer until the liquid reduces more or less to a third.
  8. Meanwhile, mix the butter with the flour in a bowl.
  9. Add the mixture to the casserole with a few rods, lower the heat to low and let it cook for one or two minutes, until the sauce sticks slightly to a spoon.
  10. Return the chicken to the casserole, pour the sauce over it, cover it and let it heat up. Serve with more thyme and a little chopped parsley.

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