For our Artist's Palate back page in the December issue of Wallpaper (see W*129), Scandinavian art duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset cooked us a classic coq au vin. 'It all comes down to the quality of the chicken. If you don’t have a local farmer around the corner, go for one of those French bio-fed, free-range chickens.
Meaty and fatty (not a skinny catwalk model), it will need to cook for an hour. Check its skin colour – too pale is not good. Braise it slowly in plenty of Danish butter, then add water. Don’t use tap water, use Scottish or Norwegian mineral water. Skip the traditional small sour onions (they give everything too harsh a taste), but add extra bay leaves.
Let it simmer for 15 minutes before adding wine. Use port instead of the customary red; even a cheap Taylor’s port will do the job. When the meat falls easily off the bones, the chicken is ready. Serve with tiny almond potatoes and a cucumber salad dressed with vinegar, dill, sugar and lemon. If you want to glam up the meal, crack open a bottle of Pauillac from 2000.
Coq au vin is old school, but it’s still a seductive dish that’s easy to make. However, we don’t advise serving it before you go clubbing.’