Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Nuovo Coq au Vin

Do we have to call it "French Cuisine"?

I love cooking all types of food, but I have to admit that I have never ventured much into french cuisine. I did make a french onion soup once like they serve at Mimi's for my wife's birthday. It seemed like a lot of work for some broth with an over-sized crouton. I consider Italian food to be the supreme food of Europe, and perhaps the world, and really don't care much for anything French. I was however tempted beyond my ability to resist by a recipe in Gourmet magazine for Coq au Vin, a classic french offering.

It seemed quite simple, and I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a shot. It turned out O.K., but was a little too simple, too paysan. So on my second attempt I improvised..perhaps enough to call it European Cuisine, and thus maintain my distance from anything fran├žaise which requires a certain snootiness to even pronounce.

I began as per the original recipe, browning the thighs well on the skin side. I then removed the skin and browned the now naked thighs where the skin had been. I found that with the original recipe, as you finished cooking it, the skin became soft and elastic, not the type of texture that I like in chicken skin. By browning them with the skin first though, it made some nice carmelization for the veggies.

I then got a bit more creative with the veggies, adding some course chopped onion, about a pound of thick sliced crimini mushrooms, (I think some thick slices of portobello would do nicely too) and then at the very end of cooking I threw in a couple handfuls of fresh green beans to the top of the pot. I also added a little chicken broth and thickened it with flour to make it more of a gravy. It was excellent over the olive oil mashed potatoes recommended in the recipe. For the potatoes, the food mill makes them very light, and I probably doubled the amount of olive oil since I used russets instead of yukons. I think I will call this dish Pollo al Vino, Va bene?

1 comment:

Pie said...

I agree that Italy's main courses are by far superior to any other, but give me a french pastry any day!