There is a joy visiting or entertaining friend’s especially in spring. An incentive of removing the shadows of winter and an opportunity to catch up and put on the thinking cap for new culinary adventures or perhaps to refresh and prepare some old favourites.

Our thoughts often drift onto lighter foods at this time of year as salad produce becomes more prolific and maybe temptations to brush down and clean the BBQ for a rather brave venture into the open air even if a little chilly – the sunshine is calling indeed.

Flavoursome foods with economical advantages are always top of the list of course if you are budget conscious or can buy in bulk for the freezer when special offers are available. The Bank Holidays are certainly a keen time to keep your eyes peeled. I have mentioned before that sometimes a cheap roasting joint of beef can prove to be cheaper to dice up for a stew or casserole than buying prime braising/stewing meat (Top Rump Joint at £5.00 per kilo or Legs of NZ Lamb at £5.00 a kilo for a Sunday Roast)

My choice, this month Chicken Thighs. You choose skin on of off – though I think with skin gives a slightly better flavour and of course prepared a day in advance also enhances the flavour. So to a twist to the traditional Coq au Vin.


Chicken with Riesling (4)

Knob of Butter

Olive Oil

Two Leeks – trimmed and chopped

1 Onion – peeled and chopped

125g Bacon or pancetta – chopped

2 Garlic cloves – chopped

8 Chicken Thighs

250g Chestnut Mushrooms – sliced

1 Bottle Riesling

250ml Double Cream or Cream Cheese

S & P – Parsley chopped to garnish.


  1. Melt a little butter and Oil in a Pan. Fry Thighs till golden on both sides and place into a pan. Add Bacon/Pancetta and cook till golden and crispy. Remove and add to Chicken.
  2. Next add Leeks to pan and sweat with Garlic without colour. Pour in Riesling and boil – pour over Chicken – add Mushrooms. Then simmer gently for about 30 – 45 minutes.
  3. Lift Chicken out onto a serving dish – boil liquid to reduce and thicken then add Cream – boil. Pour over Chicken on serving dish and garnish with the Parsley.
  4. Serve with Noodles or New Season Potatoes and a Green Crispy Salad.