Jan 11, 2012

Coq Au Vin (in this case, Old Hen Au Vin)

I'm trying something new today.  I put together an audio slideshow with photographs I took while making Coq Au Vin.  There are some issues with the slideshow - it moves too fast and I really need to break my habit of taking vertically oriented photos.  But I enjoyed the process, partly because it's less stressful to take still photos while cooking than it is to record video, but also because editing and adding voice over are far easier when the images are broken down into succinct quanta.  Since there are occasions when I'm not able juggle filming something while I do that something, I hope to get better at creating slideshows.  (Thanks for the suggestion, Sara Grady!)

But you don't care about all that crap, you wanna know how to make this amazing looking meal!  First of all, it's traditionally made with an older, tougher chicken (a rooster, in fact) that requires long cooking to make it tender.  I'm using an old egg laying hen from Glynwood farm.  Sure, you can make this with a grocery store chicken, but the procedure would be different because the meat would fall apart if you cooked it for as long as you would an old chicken.  And it wouldn't be nearly as delicious.  Secondly, I rarely measure anything.  I'll write down approximate amounts for you here, but just know that it doesn't matter too much for this recipe.

You will need:

an old chicken - a two to three pounder
bacon, 1/4 pound
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
dried mushrooms, a big handful
garlic, 6 cloves
bay leaf
red wine, 1 1/2 cups
chicken stock, 1 quart
butter, 3 tablespoons (for cooking onions and fresh mushrooms if you don't have dried)
pearl onions, 1/2 pound?  3/4?
3 tablespoons flour, mixed in 1/3 cup of water
salt and pepper

I served the dish over mashed red potatoes.  I think it would be nice over polenta as well.  

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