This was my first attempt at Coq au Vin, and quite honestly, it may have been the first time I have eaten Coq au Vin. I cannot recall ever ordering it in a restaurant. This was a recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking and it was April’s Recipes to Rival pick by Temperance of High on the Hog.

Here is my opinion of this dish: meh (I may or may not have stolen that word from Nick at Macheesmo).

Here is why I think I thought this dish was “meh":

1. I did not use bacon and I reduced the amount of butter.
2. I used frozen pearl onions instead of fresh, and I was unhappy with their final flavor. I was lazy.
3. I should have also added some stock to the cooking liquid, instead of only wine for a more diverse flavor.
4. I may have actually overcooked the chicken a little.
5. You know some days you start cooking and then you think to yourself “man, I just really don’t feel like cooking today". Well that is kind of how I felt when I was cooking this. And the process just dragged on and I just wanted to be done already. So I may have been a little inclined to not love this since I was kind of mad at it. (Yes, I was mad at my food. It is a growing trend for me).

Nick liked this, but I was underwhelmed. Granted I left out the bacon and reduced the amount of butter since this was a weeknight meal, so it could have been my fault. However, Nick and I often half joke that adding butter and bacon is like cheating in cooking, because a dish can’t really be bad if there is enough butter and/or bacon. We could all be “iron chefs” with a little bit of creativity and a ton of various pork and butter fats. So I was hoping that this dish would still perform well minus the extra fat. The taste was good, but it wasn’t unbelievable. Apparently, bacon is large part of the flavor profile of a Coq au Vin, so next time I would not forgo it.

Here is the original recipe if you would like to give it a try. I don’t know how this recipe compares to other Coq au Vin recipes because I was a bad food blogger and did not do any research. I would like to try some other recipes as I know that people don’t rave about Coq au Vin for nothing.

Here is my chicken marinating overnight in a mixture of wine, onion, carrot, celery, cloves, peppercorns and thyme.

The next day, after a searing, though you can’t really tell becasue the stain of the wine hides the yummy browning:

Coq au Vin, simmering away:

This picture is creeping me out a little for some reason. It looks like a chicken graveyard.

Chicken thigh, served with some tri colored pasta. I love these colored pastas.