While the AGA may seem quintessentially English, it is actually appreciated the world over. So I thought it would be fun to go on a culinary tour of the globe picking out recipes from each country where you will find people just as devoted to their AGA cookers.
My first stop is fairly close to home and a country I utterly adore – France. One of my very favourite places to visit is the AGA shop in Paris and frankly I need barely an excuse to hop on the Eurostar.
Although I am firmly at home in the grey, post Olympic English weather I am going to pretend I am sunning myself in the French countryside by cooking up a delicious Coq au Vin.
This delicious recipe is courtesy of Peter Hughes, a talented AGA demonstrator who has in his time been a chef and a restaurateur.
Traditionally one uses a male bird from Bresse to make Coq au Vin and a red wine from Burgundy. I’m going to cook mine in the versatile AGA Buffet Pan
Authentic Coq au Vin
2 x 1.5kg free-range chicken, each cut into 8 pieces
1 bottle full-bodied Burgundy red wine
24 small onions, peeled
4 carrots, peeled and quartered
Bouquet of herbs: thyme, bay leaf and parsley, tied together with string
Oil or butter
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp brandy
Salt and black pepper
12 unsmoked bacon slices, diced
450g button mushrooms
For the garnish:
A day in advance, clean and cut each chicken into 8 joints, or more. Place in a glass dish and pour over the wine. Add the onions, carrots and bouquet garni, cover and place in the refrigerator.
The next day remove and drain the chicken and vegetables, reserving the wine.
Heat the oil or butter and brown the chicken in the base of the buffet pan. Remove the chicken and add garlic to the vegetables and heat for a couple of minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the brandy, ignite the spirit with a lighted taper. Then pour over the reserved wine and season. Bring to the boil, cover with the lid.
2, 3 and 4-oven AGA
Place in the simmering oven and cook for 2-2½ hours. To finish, heat the bacon and mushrooms in the lid of the buffet pan until they are browned and cooked. Then add the bacon and mushrooms to the chicken stir and reheat.
Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.