Real time cooking Coq au Vin for dinner:

{The Ingredients}

Peter’s out of town for a week, so I have the house to myself.  I figure with all this time alone, I should experiment in the kitchen.  So I’m trying to make Coq au Vin from Julia Child’s cookbook – but just for me.  The recipe usually serves 4 – 6, so I have to make it significantly smaller.  I decided to cut it in half so that I can eat the leftovers tomorrow.

{Boiling the Bacon}

First step: simmer some bacon for 10 minutes.  I’m not entirely sure why, but the recipe says to do it, so here it is.  Simmering.  Next I fish it out, dry it off and then fry it in a pan (with some butter.  I love French cooking – frying bacon in butter!).

Next up: the chicken.  It gets fried in the bacon fat with the butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, then the bacon gets added back in, it gets covered and cooks for 10 minutes.

Then the fun part, I pour in some cognac, then light it on fire and it burns itself out.  Fun times with flames in the kitchen.  It flamed way more than I thought it would!  After this you add some wine and chicken broth.  It turns out my 10 inch frying pan isn’t deep enough for this.  I had to pour it into my other skillet, which the lid fits on better anyhow.  Now I let it cook slowly for half an hour.

{The brown-braised onions.  They cooked way faster than I thought they would.}

In the mean time, I’m making some brown-braised onions and sautéed mushrooms.  For the record, boiling onions aren’t very fun to peel.  But right now the kitchen is smelling AMAZING!  I can’t wait to eat.  I’m wishing right now I had someone here to share this with.  Yum.

{That’s some tasty Tempranillo!}

Did I mention that  I’m watching some old school Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix (currently the one where Q gives Riker powers).  Good times.  I think I will listen to Julia Child and have some wine while things cook.  Now that I’m done with the fire and all.

{Grapes.  Like you needed a note in curly brackets to tell you that.}

Also, I got hungry, so now I’m eating grapes too.  Can’t eat too many; I have to eat all this dinner myself!  (For the record, Riker is looking very smug right now.  Also, he’s very cocky.)

As I get further and further along in this recipe, I’m trying not to think about just how much butter I’m using.  It’s going to be delicious.

Just got to the part where I skim the fat off of the top.  You don’t need to see how much I took off.  Let’s just say it was a lot.  Then I got impatient and said to myself, “some fat is good, right?” and left the rest.  But I did take off a lot.  I promise.

Now that the chicken has boiled and the mushrooms and onions are down, I reduce the broth down to 1 and a bit cups.  There’s a lot of liquid, so I wonder how long that will take.  It’s already 6:47, and I’ve been cooking since 5.    As soon as it reduces down, I thicken it with some flour and butter and then put it all together.  I can’t wait.

Ha!  Now it’s an episode with Diana’s mother.  She’s the funniest character.  Holm too!


{It doesn’t look amazing, but I swear it was delicious.  I’m still licking the sauce off of my plate.}

So, the coq au vin is done.  The sauce is thickened, the chicken, onions and mushrooms all basted with it.  It doesn’t look amazing, but I tell you it smells divine.  Cutting the recipe in half seems to have worked well, I think there will be enough for dinner, plus a little for lunch tomorrow and another dinner.  Now the question is do I freeze a dinner’s worth or just eat it tomorrow night?

{The final product.  It was delicious.  I went back for seconds.}

Was it delicious? Yes!  The greenness of the parsley and peas went perfectly with the richness of the chicken.  I would certainly make it again. It will most definitely not make it all the way to the freezer.

P.S. Now the Star Trek episode is based on the holodeck in San Francisco!