In Spring 2009, we went on holiday to France. The highlight: Provence. The people: generous. The menu: decadent. In a little Citröen, we toured the countryside, shopped with the locals, and dined to our hearts’ content. It’s safe to say that much of our day-to-day routine is modeled by Provençale living:
So, hosting dinner for our Food and Wine Group dinner party at the RGB this season was fitting. The theme: Autumn Fanfare. Our contribution: Emeril’s version of Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin. The result: magnificent. Unfortunately, we didn’t snap any food photos. We were too busy discussing our next dinner with featured guests: Dean Koontz and Dave Grusin. Okay, Dave Grusin is waaaaaay out of our league, but we seriously think we can get Mr. Koontz to the table. Will it help if we’ve read all his books?
What do your travels inspire you to make?
Caramelized onion and red pepper crostini with goat cheese
Rosemary butternut squash
Romaine with pears, walnuts and goat cheese
Coq Au Vin
Amaretto peaches with honey whipped cream and biscotti crumbs
Coq Au Vin
Food and Wine Group (FAWG) Dinner Party
~ Serves ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary
- ½ cup lardons, cut into ¼-by-1 ½-inch strips
- 2 ½ lbs. ready-cut chicken, thoroughly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 16 to 20 small white onions, peeled
- ¼ cup Cognac
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups red wine, Burgundy or other Pinot Noir
- 2 cups brown chicken stock, plus more if necessary
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste, plus more if necessary
- ¾ lb. oyster or shiitake mushrooms, quartered
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole, and sauté the lardons, if using, until lightly browned. Remove the lardons, but leave the fat in the pan. If not using lardons, cover the pan with 1/8 inch oil.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the fat in the pain to moderately hot, and add the chicken; do not crowd the pan. Turn the pieces frequently to brown on all sides. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Place the onions around the chicken.
- Pour in the Cognac, shake the pan, and cook until bubbling. Ignite the Cognac with a match, and let flame 1 minute, swirling the pan to burn off the alcohol. Extinguish the fire with the pan cover. Keep covered, and cook on low heat for 10 more minutes, turning the chicken pieces once. Sprinkle in the flour, turning the chicken and onions to absorb. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more, turning once or twice.
- Remove from heat. Gradually stir in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the lardons, garlic and tomato paste. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pieces as they become tender.
- After all the pieces are ready, return them to the pan, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes more. The liquid should thicken enough to coat the chicken and vegetables lightly. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately.
Source: Emeril Lagasse via Wine Spectator, September 30, 2009, p. 63