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- Sunday Gravy with yeah right: Sweet and Spicy Thai Style Chicken Wings – August 2, 2020
- Sunday Gravy with yeah right: Grilled Gochujang Ribs! – July 26, 2020
Good morning everyone!
Welcome back to Sunday Gravy.
This week we are going to resume the Chef’s Series.
Last season you may remember when we did James Beard’s classic Chicken and 40 Cloves. Which was fucking delicious by the way and one of my favorite efforts from last season.
This time I figured we would make an attempt at Julia Child’s classic Coq au vin.
Coq au vin literally means Cock and Wine, which is also, not coincidentally, my Tinder profile name.
The recipe is a French stew that utilizes a “past his prime” rooster and to tenderize his old ass he is soaked in wine, then stewed.
Legend has it that this recipe can be traced all the way back to ancient Gaul and is linked to Julius Caeser. It wasn’t brought into the American public eye until Julia Child first wrote about it in her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and later was televised on her cooking show “The French Chef.”
Julia Child was one of the original TV cooking personalities. She was friendly, exhuberant, approachable and holy good goddamn the old girl could pound down the vino. She was also known for her distinct voice.
Not Coq au vin in that video but her videos are pretty tough to track down.
Of course most of you will remember this sketch from Saturday Night Live.
Julia was most well known for bringing French style cooking to the American kitchen. While she was a graduate of the Cordon Bleu cooking academy, she oddly enough didn’t even start cooking until she was married. Her life makes for pretty fascinating reading if you have the time.
By the way Meryl Streep was fucking brilliant playing Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.”
This was my very first effort preparing coq au vin and after doing a couple of hours of research I discovered that you know what? This shit is pretty fucking easy.
It’s basically a simple stewed chicken cooked in wine with some mushrooms, onions and bacon.
That sounds goddamn delicious!
Away we go!
Coq Au Vin!
1 whole chicken cut into sections
2 cups red wine – use the good stuff and make sure it’s French
1 cup chicken stock – homemade? Bet your ass!
1/4 cup of cognac
3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces pearl onions (note: the original recipe calls for pearl onions and I was unable to find any at the store. Goddamn pandemic. Just use a diced white onion instead.)
Roux: 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour
Got a whole shitload of photos for you today so let’s get to the pictorial!
Important note! For maximum flavor this will be a 3 day prep. You do want maximum flavor yes?
We’re going to start with a whole fresh chicken since we had a distinct lack of Coq hanging about.
And not surprisingly we’re going to remove it from the bag.
Go ahead and remove the giblets and neck etc from the body cavity.
One of the online recipes said to use all thighs or all legs, Julia Child’s original recipe called for cutting up a whole chicken, and according to the online recipe “Nobody does that!”
Fuck right off.
Not only are we going to “do that” I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions so you can do it yourself!
For the squeamish you may want to skip past the next couple of photos if you’re really attached to chickens or are a vegan. It gets a bit hardcore.
First thing to do is remove the spine. A trick known as “Spatchcocking.” Using a pair of kitchen shears cut along both sides of the spine and snip that fucker right out!
You long time readers may remember this technique from a few years back when I made Peruvian chicken.
That’s a proper goddamn recipe there too!
Removing the spine makes the rest of the dismemberment easy as pumpkin pie!
Let’s separate the bits.
Here’s the leg and thigh. Find the joint between the two and basically hyper-extend the leg so you can cut through the leg joint.
The wings are easy to separate from the main body. Just find the joint and repeat the hyper-extend thing that you did for the leg and thigh.
For the breast cut it right down the center like so.
Start to finish this took me less than 10 minutes. “Nobody does that” my hairy ass!
We’re going to soak the coq overnight in wine. Let’s get a good French wine for this.
That’s a Côtes du Rhône from the Rhône region of France. It’s a lovely wine that’s a bit dry and not too sweet. You could use a burgundy here as well.
Get the bird in a bowl and pour in 2 cups of the vino.
Make sure the chicken is fully covered then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put that thing in the fridge. Get yourself a glass and enjoy the leftover wine.
That’s all we have to do on day one.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit out until it reaches room temperature.
After soaking overnight the bird will take on a somewhat alien purple hue.
Reserve the wine marinade for cooking the chicken.
Dry the chicken and get ready to cook!.
Yeah, that’s a little…
Go ahead and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Both sides.
That’s cooking the bacon bits until it renders out the fat. Please notice I’m using my Dutch oven for the whole cooking process. This is started over a medium/high heat. Remove the cooked bacon bits and set aside for later usage.
Now we’re going to, wait for it, sear the chicken in the bacon fat. Shit yes!
Brown each side for about 5-6 minutes per side.
Brown on both sides.
There it is.
Place the chicken aside for the non and let’s get busy with the rest of the prep.
That’s the part where we dice up our onion and garlic and prepare our mushrooms. Dicing is thirsty work.
Gonna need some tomato paste too. Yep, the shit in the tube we talked about.
And if we’re using cognac? That shit better be the “Hen”.
Get that chicken back in the pot, turn the flame to medium, dump in the cognac and get ready to party.
Using a long kitchen match, or if you have a grill lighter like I do, tilt the pan to the side and light that thing on fire!
Don’t panic, that shit’s easy to put out if you need to. Just place the lid on the pot.
Ideally let it cook until the alcohol cooks out and the flame extinguishes. This step gives a very distinct flavor to the chicken and really should be included. I’ve seen a few recipes that call this step “optional.”
Optional? Since when is lighting shit on fire “optional?!”
This was cool as fuck!
Now that we’ve flamed the chicken, remove it from the pot and let’s get after the mushrooms and onions.
Saute them down for about 5 minutes.
Now add in the garlic and let it cook for about a minute. Just until it gets aromatic.
Then we stir in the tomato paste.
Toss the veggies in the tomato paste and fully coat.
Add in the bay leaves and dried thyme and stir.
Now let’s get our chicken back into the pot.
Remember our homemade chicken stock from a couple of weeks ago when we made red beans and rice?
I still had 3 cups on hand.
Add 1 cup of the stock to the pot (save the remaining two cups for a side dish to be named later) and also add in the reserved wine/marinade from earlier. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium/low and let cook for about 10 minutes.
Next we’re going to need a roux to tighten up the gravy so let’s build one. Flour and butter, 3 tablespoons of each.
Melt the butter while stirring constantly. A blonde roux today.
When ready add the roux to the pot.
Stir well to combine.
Now we add the bacon bits, onion and the mushrooms back to the proceedings. If you were able to find the pearl onions now would be the time to add them in. Let simmer on low heat for about an hour. .
When the hour has elapsed, remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
It’s going to refrigerate overnight!
Yes, you could serve it right away with a choice of side, maybe some bread and a salad but…
Maximum flavor right?
Remove the pot from the refrigerator and let come up to room temperature again.
I know this seems like an extra step but several of the recipes I read said the refrigeration overnight was vital.
Place the covered pot BACK on the stove and bring to a simmer. Over a LOW heat let this very gently simmer for 45 minutes or so. Make sure the heat stays low. We want to delicately cook this part.
When the chicken has cooked through?
Now the choice of side dishes is pretty much up to you. Hell man, you could grab a crusty loaf of bread, tear off a chunk and just eat this right out of the pot.
You can serve over mashed potatoes with a choice of veggie.
You could make some rice.
Yes we will cook the rice in our remaining 2 cups of leftover homemade chicken stock!
Bring to boil, reduce heat to as low as you can, cover with a lid and let cook – undisturbed – for 20 minutes.
Look! It’s ready!
Yes, NOW you can finally eat.
Grab a plate. Scoop on the rice. Sauce that shit up with some of the wine/gravy. Grab some chicken, maybe a side salad and serve.
Now we’re talking.
Shit yes, I grabbed a leg and a wing.
Man, that chicken is tender!
The wine is front and center with the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the mix. But that bacon? Oh boy does this shit work!
Having no point of reference I really do think that letting the flavors meld after cooking this was the right step.
You want the real truth?
Anybody else here like cold chicken?
I mean right out of the refrigerator and straight into your damn mouth cold chicken?
The next day (Day 4?) I had a cold piece of leftover wing that had a little breast piece attached. There were mushroom and bacon bits stuck to it too.
THAT was the best bite of all. Mind blowing! I could eat that shit every fucking week!
This is a simple and very delicous recipe. Actually you could pretend that you worked your ass off making this.
You could serve this with a phony French accent and say “Zis took Sree Fool Dayz to prep-AIR!”
Then you simply wait for the applause!
I had a lot of fun making this. It also took a lot of the mystique away when you realize it’s a fairly simple stewing process.
You done good work Julia and it’s still appreciated.
Thanks for being there everyone.
Please stay in and be safe and for the love of fuck people, wear your goddamn face coverings!
Much love folks.
See you next week.
PEACE and UNITY!