Sunday, September 15, 2013

France, Again

Last time, we learned that I don't really like things cooked in red wine, especially dry red wine.  That was worrying.  I had already bought all of the ingredients for my other experiment in French cooking.  And that attempt was Coq au Vin.  Chicken.  In red wine.  Gulp.

This recipe came from the same cookbook that the delicious crepes did last time, so that was a bonus.  I had made Coq au Vin from another cookbook once, a long time ago.  That was soon after Kevin and I got married, and I know that I have grown a lot in my cooking since then.  It was a adventure I was excited to take on, but I was a bit wary after the beef burgundy.  This is all about trying things and learning though, right?  Right!

Like before, we start with bacon.
However, much of the rest is different.  This calls for a whole chicken, as well as thyme, parsley, garlic...  There are a good number of spices that get thrown in there.  We also used a different kind of wine, as this one called for something more fruity.

After you cook all of this together for a while, you remove the chicken and the herbs while leaving the sauce.  Mushrooms go in, and you create a reduction.  Brendan and Kevin wait.

After it is reduced by three-fourths, the chicken goes back in with some butter and you are ready to serve, preferably with some bread.

Brendan loooves bread.

This dish could not be more different from the beef burgundy.  I absolutely loved it.  It was wonderfully flavorful and a bit fatty.  The meat didn't get ultra-tough, and I wasn't overwhelmed by a dry red wine that I don't like.  Kevin asked for the leftovers for lunches until it was all gone.  Brendan enjoyed it as well.

What was the difference?  I'm sure many things.  I think, for me, one of the biggest is the different kind of wine.  Being more fruity helped.  I also believe that boiling beef in wine for a while makes it tough, while chicken just gets more tender, but I'm not sure about that.  All I know is that I plan to make this one again.  And probably again after that.

And as we leave France, we leave Virginia.  Onto new adventures, new foods, and a new letter!

Next time: Gabon

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