Tuesday, February 10, 2015
9 Days of Valentine's: Part 3...
Our Valentine’s Week Extravaganza continues with a simple, but hearty and filling French dish. Coq Au Vin! To be honest I’ve never actually had Coq Au Vin before - which basically translates to Rooster in Wine - My family may be European, but we’re not French, and so - despite being Canadian, French food was rarely - if ever on the menu. Still, I knew about Coq Au Vin, and I knew it was the kind of dish that people loved for it’s exquisite flavor. I also knew that despite it supposedly being a rather simple ‘peasant dish’ it’s the kind of thing people like to make to impress other people, like a Bourguignon. Sounded pretty perfect for our celebratory week, no?
Really the dish is quite simple, I used the recipe from Annie and Dan Shannon’s epic tome “Betty Goes Vegan” this is not a cook book I use very often as I regularly bemoan the fact that so many of the recipes rely heavily on store-bought vegan products. Sometimes I compromise and make my own seitan or cheese or sour cream to replace what’s called for in the recipes but considering this is suppose to be a week celebrating love and decadent food, I thought why bother? I went out and bought the vegan bacon and the vegan chicken called for in the recipe and didn’t bat an eyelash about it.
The first thing I loved about this dish is that it only uses one pan, and while there were several steps, it actually came together quite quickly and felt rather effortless. First you need to fry the bacon, while that’s doing you bread and bake the chicken. Remove bacon to a plate, fry the chicken remove to a plate and then saute veggies, throw everything but the ‘meat’ together, let it simmer, add the meat at the end and voila! Magic. The veggies consist of carrots, mushrooms, pearl onions - what a pain in the ass those are to peel, am I right? - garlic, parsley and some other spices. I used vegan beef broth instead of the bouillon ‘cause that’s what I had and a whole cup of red wine goes into this thing.
Let me tell you, it smells like absolute heaven when it’s cooking, and I’m not just saying that. Truth be told I was pretty skeptical about how this dish would turn out. I just didn’t think it was going to be all that great, but man was I blown away from the first bite. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think there is anything healthy about this dish, it is pure vegan decadence at it’s finest, and goddamn if it ain’t delicious! If you have a copy of “Betty Goes Vegan” you need to make this, and if you don’t have a copy it’s seriously worth your time to buy one, just for this recipe! I have to say out of our three Valentine’s Dinners so far, this has been my favorite.
Since it was so rich I didn’t make any accompaniments or desserts to go with it. Which at the time seemed a bit sad, but in retrospect was a good thing. This is a filling meal! And after we ate we were stuffed.
So, check back in tomorrow because I have a special Valentine’s Week surprise.
PS: My house totally still smelt like Coq Au Vin this morning! Yum! I am SO making this again, and maybe soon!