In honour of Julia Child’s 100th birthday yesterday, I am re-posting a blog that I wrote which highlights one of her amazing recipes for everyone to enjoy! Even though it’s the end of August this dish is well worth heating up your kitchen for. In pure “Julia Style” make sure you pour yourself a glass of red wine to enjoy with the meal.
Happy Birthday Julia – BON APPETITE!
Those who know me, or read my blogs know that I’m a self pronounced “foodie”. When I have some time off from TSGand all things insurance, I can usually be found in my kitchen happily cooking up a storm, and a glass of whatever red wine I have recently purchased in hand.
This weekend, my inspiration came from having just finished watching the movie Julie and Julia for probably the 10th time. I decided to try my hand at one of Julia Childs famous dishes, Coq Au Vin. I’d made this once before however I didn’t follow the receipe exactly, as I tend to do when I cook, I substituted an ingredient here and there and changed up the technique. While it turned out good, I decided this time to follow her receipe exactly, techinque and all, and see if it made a difference.
Ok – well I will be the first to admit, I’m certainly no Julia Child! My revisions on my first try at it, while still making the final product very edible, did not do the dish the justice it deserved. This time, I followed everything, exactly as stated in the recipe, including breaking down a whole frying chicken, as well as making the brown braised onions and button mushrooms. The result was pure deliciousness – if I do say so myself. Although I certainly have Julia to thank!
Here is the recipe for all you foodies out there that want to give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Julia Childs Coq Au Vin1 Whole frying chicken, skin on and thoroughly dried and cut into pieces 4 ounces lean thick-cut bacon 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper 1/4 cup cognac 2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais or Chianti) 2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock or broth 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced 1 bay leaf 1/4 teaspoon thyme Brown-Braised Onions (see recipe below) Mushrooms (see recipe below) 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter, softened Parsley sprigs Dry chicken thoroughly in a towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside. Remove any rind off the bacon and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1-inch long). In a saucepan, simmer the bacon sticks water for 10 minutes; remove from heat, drain, rinse in cold water, and pat dry. In a large heavy frying pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil until moderately hot. Add the bacon and saute slowly until they are lightly browned. Remove bacon to a side dish. Place chicken pieces into the hot oil (not crowding pan), and brown on all sides. Return bacon to the pan, cover pan, and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning chicken once. After browning the chicken, uncover pan, pour in the cognac. Flambé by igniting with a lighted match. Let flame a minute, swirling pan by its handle to burn off alcohol; extinguish with pan cover. Pour the red wine into the pan and add just enough chicken broth to completely cover the chicken pieces. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover pan, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is tender when pierced with a fork or an instant-read meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Mushrooms. (ingredients below) When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Increase heat to high and boil the cooking liquid rapidly until approximately 2 cups of liquid remains. While the liquid is boiling, in a small bowl, blend the 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons softened butter into a smooth paste; beat the flour/butter mixture into the approximately 2 cups hot cooking liquid with a whisk. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened.
Brown Braised Onions12 to 24 small white onions, peeled 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt to taste While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife. NOTE: Onions may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.
Mushrooms1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 tablespoon olive oil Prepare mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.