Chicken in Red Wine with Onions, Mushrooms, and Bacon
“In France it is usually accompanied only by parsley potatoes; buttered green peas could be included if you wish a green vegetable.” from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
In honor of Julia’s birthday, Father Adam and I made the meal as she recommends. Our potatoes are parsleyed and our peas are buttered and tossed with chopped fresh mint.
Adjacent to the city of Santa Barbara, lies beautiful Montecito. A while back my mother and I had lunch at the charming Montecito Inn.
After lunch, we decided to drive up the road to visit the Casa Dorinda to see where Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) spent her last years.
This assisted living facility is a sprawling complex, the former estate of a wealthy nature lover. Julia occupied a cozy one bedroom apartment. She decorated her little kitchen walls with cookware and tools just like she had at her home in Cambridge.
Back to the kitchen and her Coq au Vin recipe…
Bacon is simmered in water, then dried and sautéed in hot butter until lightly brown. A whole chicken, cut-up, is then browned in the fat. Cognac is added to the pan.
Another reason to love Julia’s cooking – many of her recipes include lighting them on fire! Tip the pan and ignite the cognac.
After the flames subside, add 3 cups of good red wine and enough beef stock to cover the chicken. Stir in tomato paste, mashed garlic, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. This is another one of those times where I wish you could smell the aromas…Cover and cook 25-30 minutes.
We thought Julia would be pleased that we sautéed French bread in clarified butter, in her honor, to make croutons for the coq au vin.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it to a platter then skim the fat from the sauce. Raise the heat and reduce the sauce. Beat beurre manié into the sauce to thicken, adjust seasoning. Add the chicken, bacon, onions and mushrooms back to the pot, heat through and serve.
The complete recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking can be found here. And oh my, the sauce was so flavorful, rich and velvety!
“The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite – toujours bon appétit!“
Happy Birthday and Thank You Julia Child!
(The month of August is Julia Child Month here at TaStE WiTh ThE EyEs. I am resurrecting some prior Julia related posts as well as cooking some new Julia inspired dishes. Coq au Vin originally posted on 8.08.08).