Friday, May 16, 2014
Cooking Coq Au Vin
To preface: as many of you may know, I LOVE to bake. Cooking is all well and good and is obviously more necessary than baking, but stand mixers and icing bags and the smell of sugar and butter being creamed together are just about as good as it gets in the kitchen.
Nonetheless, husband and I cook alot at home. Sometimes just simple stuff to get us through the week, and sometimes more interesting but also complicated things because while Joe is still learning to cook (I'd put him at the end of beginner into beginner/intermediate level...) he thinks it's really fun to crack open a Lee Brothers cook book and request that we make, oh I don't know, Frogmore Stew (you can find it on their homepage. It's not for the faint of heart). Which, BTW, we still haven't made because what usually happens when the husband gets ambitious is the following: "Dianna, go sit down, read or something, I got this. Seriously, I'm getting my mise en place together (yes he says that) and I'm going to be fine." 15 minutes later: "Hey honey, could you could help with something really quickly..." 2 hours later: ... well you can guess who finishes dinner. HOWEVER, it is pretty great to have a man who likes and is interested in cooking, and who knows, 5 years down the road I may be able to retire from the stove completely.
So to get to the point of this post, last week was our 3-year anniversary. Charlottesville has a host of just really really amazing restaurants, but we've been to most of them multiple times and wanted to do something a little more special for dinner than just go somewhere we'd go back to anyway. So Joe, of course, gets the idea to make Coq Au Vin. Well, as I mentioned earlier, I usually only get excited about baking and am wary of classic dishes perfected by greats like Julia Child. But, there is one thing that rallies me back in the kitchen for dinner -- my dutch oven. For whatever reason, when a recipe calls to pull out that 15 lb. pot, I'm all over it. *(You can find a short review of mine below the pictures.) SO, when husband pulls up this Serious Eats Coq Au Vin (trans: rooster in the wine) recipe which would require meat browning and stewing in my pretty enamel pot, I was game.
You should also know, I'm a horrible photographer 1. because I still only sort of know how to use my camera and 2. because I ALWAYS FORGET TO TAKE PICTURES! Is this difficult for other people? Sooo, I only have a couple shots below of our fantastic anniversary dinner, but it was a lot of fun to make and delicious to eat. I basically just followed the Serious Eats recipe, but found I had to de-glaze once or twice before it actually called for it. We paired it with super easy and absolutely perfect rosemary potatoes (recipe below) and of course the vin rouge used in the dish.
6 red new potatoes, quarted
2 tbsp. olive oil (or in this case, I used the leftover bacon fat)
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp. rosemary sprigs
Toss it all together in a bowl then pour out on a baking sheet lined with alumium foil. Roast on about 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should be crispy and slightly brown and will be nice and tender on the inside.
Finally, in case you're interested, my dutch oven is a Fontignac. Not a brand I had heard of before setting out to buy one, but I've been very happy with it for my first year of ownership. I would obviously love to have a Le Cruset or Staub or even a few in different sizes, but sometimes a budget just doesn't permit spending $300 on a pot. I did a TON of research and ended up settling on a 6.5 quart Fontignac that could be bought and BBB for 1/3 the price. We've probably cooked about 15-20 dishes in it in the last year and it's cleaned up nicely after each one.. even when I char the heck out of the bottom. Supposedly it's owned by the makers of Staub, but whether that's true or not, to me the quality has been just as good. Even heating, no enamel chipping, perfect-fitting lid, and cleans up after each use. I'd be happy to share more about it if you're curious!