Julia Child's Coq au Vin
Julia Child's Favorite Chicken Recipes
Legendary chef Julia Child appeared on "Good Morning America" on May 11, 1995, with her Ragout of Chicken and Coq a Vin recipes.
Coq au Vin is chicken in red wine with small braised onions, mushrooms, and lardons of pork - an elaboration on the far more elementary preceding ragout, coq au vin involves more hand work since you have lardons of bacon to prepare for the special flavor they give to the sauce. Then there is the traditional garnish of small braised onions and sautéed mushrooms. This combination makes a wonderfully satisfying dish, and a fine one for company.
Browning and simmering the chicken. Before browning the chicken, sauté the blanched bacon or salt pork and remove to a side dish, leaving the fat in the pan. Brown the chicken in the pork fat, adding a little olive oil, if needed. Flame the chicken with the brandy, if you wish -- it does give its own special flavor, besides being fun to do. Then proceed to simmer the chicken in the wine, stock, tomatoes and seasoning as directed in the master recipe.
Finishing the dish. Strain, degrease, and finish the sauce, also as described. Strew the braised onions and sautéed mushrooms over the chicken, baste with the sauce, and simmer a few minutes, basting, to rewarm the chicken and to blend flavors.
Special note: To blanch bacon or salt pork: When you use bacon or salt pork in cooking, you want to remove its salt as well as its smoky flavor, which would permeate the rest of the food. To do so, you blanch it -- meaning, you drop it into a saucepan of cold water to cover it by 2 to 3 inches, bring it to the boil, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes; the drain, refresh in cold water, and pat dry in paper towels.