French cuisine has his own indigenous style. Knowledge of French cooking plays a big role in culinary education and French gastronomy is on the list of the worlds “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO. The amazing thing about French cuisine is how little it has changed, the same techniques are still used nowadays in French restaurants.
In every French region there are different dishes to try. Today I will show you one of my favorite French recipes – Coq au Vin. Coq au vin comes from Burgundy, region which is known for its wine. Burgundy is the wine that is used to cook this delicious meal. Apart from the wine Coq au vin is made of chicken, lardons, onions, and mushrooms. The dish is seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Usually, it is served with cooked or mashed potatoes or pasta. The sauce has pretty strong flavor, therefore, you need something milder on the side. The dish can be made also in different variations – for example with white wine, which is the Alsace specialty called Coq au Riesling. The coq au vin recipe was first documented in the 20th century. The popularity of this dish increased after Julia Child featured her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. And that was when I first tried to cook Coq au Vin. I can’t say that this is the best Coq au Vin recipe that I have tried – its the first one and it stays the best for me. Sometimes if you found something that tastes, smells and looks already perfectly you don’t look at other alternatives.
Coq au vin is a proof that chicken if prepared well can taste better as any other meat. The meat cooked in wine is delicate and moist.
Julia Childs Coq au Vin
- 120 g bacon cuted into lardons
- 30 g butter
- 1,5 kg chicken
- 70 ml cognac
- 420 ml red wine
- 275 ml chicken stock
- 10 ml tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 12 onions Brown braised
- 225 g mushrooms sauteed
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh parslay
To thicken the sauce
- 30 g butter
- 30 g flour
- Take the lardons and simmer them for 10 minutes in 1,8l boiling water. Rinse in cold water and dry.
- Saute bacon slowly in a hot butter until is very lightly browned. Set aside.
- Wash and dry chicken thigts. Fry in hot fat until they turn brown.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Return the bacon to the casserole with chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.
- Uncover, pour in cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match or a lighter. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
- Pour the wine into the casserole and just enough stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs and bring it to simmering point. Simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms.
- Take out the chicken from the sauce, skimm the fat. Raise the heat an boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to 500ml. Correct seasoning and remove bay leaf.
- Blend the butter and flour to a smooth paste (beurre manie) with the spatula. Beat the paste into the hot sauce with a wire whisk. Bring the sauce to the simering point and simmer for 2 minutes. If the sauce can coat the spoon lightly then the sauce is done.
- Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce.
- Serve hot with f.e. mash potatoes, decorate with fresh parsley and enjoy!