Coq Au Vin on a Weeknight? That’s So Braisin’!

September 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm 6 comments

Nothing says love like a coq

Sadly, I take almost no credit for this feast...

Yesterday, Jeff prepared a near perfect coq au vin —  French for, “Holy crap, I didn’t know chicken could taste this good.”

For months, Jeff had been talking about making something out of his new prized cookbook, “All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking.”  Of course, every time, I’d retort that a better title for the book would’ve been “That’s So Braisin’…”

So, after returning from an East Coast wedding and a day of tennis at the U.S. Open (delightful!), we fought off jet lag and cracked open the braising book.  What you are about to read is an account of the deliciousness that followed.

Let the braising begin...

Let the braising begin...

The Art of Braising
What exactly is braising, you ask?  Well, it’s essentially a two-step process.  First, you sear the food (meat or veggies) at a high temperature, and then slow cook it in a pot filled with liquid.  With coq au vin, the result is meat so tender it falls right off the bone.

So why braise?  Well, it turns out braising — even the seemingly bourgeois coq au vin — started off as peasant fare, because it’s a simple way to make dry/tough foods melt in your mouth.  You can take chicken or cheaper/tougher cuts of meat, and make them taste like high-class fare without spending a fortune (with coq au vin you don’t need to use a fancy-pants wine).  Of course, if you’re Jeff, you go all out anyway…

Braising for a Better Life
In the end, once you learn the technique of braising, you can apply it to a wide variety of foods and cuisines.  It’s also worth the time investment because slow cooking doesn’t require you to actively be in the kitchen (granted, that’s easy for me to say since Jeff was the one cooking).  Braised dishes also scale well and make great leftovers — they only taste better the next day.  Plus, coq au vin is on the tougher side of braising.  If you can make coq au vin  on a hectic weekday, you can braise with the best of them.

It’s like “All About Braising” author Molly Stevens says: “The act of cooking on a regular basis will make you a better cook and will improve the quality of your life and of those around you.” Amen … and bon apetit!

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Entry filed under: French Cuisine, Preparation. Tags: , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lindsey  |  September 10, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Now you and Jeff need to attempt turducken on a weeknight and you’ll officially be experts in the kitchen!!

    Reply
    • 2. shiwanis  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Ha, now that’s ballsy. Maybe I can conclude my 30 days with a turducken 🙂 Hey, I’d to learn more about smoked meats from you. I remember you guys have that smoker in your backyard…

      Reply
  • 3. amy  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I vote this to be, by far, the best title-pun yet.

    Reply
    • 4. shiwanis  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

      Haha I’m going to make it a point to tell Jeff you said that. He always groans at my puns … but maybe secretly thinks they’re awesome 😉

      Reply
      • 5. amy  |  September 15, 2009 at 9:50 am

        Good, tell him. Then again, I’m a pun-loving girl, so this is definitely my idea of a good time.

        Oh, I crack myself up!

  • 6. Michael Beyer  |  October 5, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Love the name of your blog. I made a great variation on coq au vin–“rigatoni with braised chicken and saffron cream.” It was just unbelievably delicious!
    http://michaelbeyer.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/rigatoni-with-braised-chicken-and-saffron-cream/

    Reply

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