For my birthday this year I received a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1, otherwise known as The Intimidator. This book is 684 pages of daunting recipes, waiting for some unsuspecting home cook to open its pages and pick one out. I’ve been both excited and apprehensive about trying recipes from this book, and I’m glad that Project Food Blog gave me the kick in the rear I needed to finally pick one. My freezer is pretty well stocked with poultry, so I decided to pick one of Julia’s recipes that centre around chicken.
For my Project Food Blog Round 2 I picked Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine). Coq au Vin is a typical French that is cooked in the fricassee style, which means a dish that is typically made with poultry that has been cut into pieces and stewed. In France, it is most often made with the wine of the region, including Riesling, Burgundy, and Champagne. There are legends that date it back to Julius Caesar, but the recipe actually wasn’t documented until the 20th century.
Then comes the chicken:
Add a little Brandy,
Add a LOT of wine, and let it cook.
Mash up some butter and flour, and stir it into your dish.
Makes it all yummy and velvety.
Put it all together and what do you get? One of the best meals I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself.
I did omit 2 things from Julia’s recipe: Onions and Mushrooms. Firstly, she wanted “18-24 white onions, 1 inch in diameter” to be boiled, then roasted on their own, and added to the dish at the end. Baby onions are not easy to find in the suburbs at 5pm on Saturday afternoon, let me tell you! Secondly, my husband doesn’t care for mushrooms, so I decided to leave those out. I think that the mushrooms and onions would certainly have added to the dish, but the sauce was so amazing, I don’t think we were missing anything by not having them.
The weirdest thing about this recipe? Boiling the bacon. I have never seen that in any recipe before, but I think it helped to keep the dish from getting too greasy, which it could have if I just fried the bacon right in the pan.
I would most certainly make this dish again, especially since there are very helpful notes for preparing the dishes ahead of time in MtAoFC. This would be perfect for a dinner party, because you only have to heat everything up in the sauce to complete the dish.
I hope I’ve inspired to you step out of your own kitchen comfort zone and make something you wouldn’t normally consider. If you don’t take a risk, how will you ever know for sure if you can do it?
This is my submission for Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog round 2. I really appreciate everyone’s votes that got me through round 1, and if you would like to see me move on to round 3, voting opens here on Monday.