Illustrations by Matthew Brennan, photo by CIA/Keith FerrisIn these videos, The Culinary Institute of America's Associate Dean for Curriculum and Instruction for Culinary Arts, Thomas W. Griffiths, shows us how to make classic coq au vin from Burgundy, France. Burgundy's famous wines (such as Pinot Noir reds) figure prominently in its cuisine, as in this dish: A mixture of red wine, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and peppercorns is used to marinate the chicken for at least one and up to two days; then the marinade forms the base of the rich, flavorful sauce for the chicken.
Coq au vin is an old country dish from France . "Coq" is the French word for rooster. "In traditional stock farming, roosters which were good breeders were kept as long as they could fulfill their function," explains the culinary encyclopedia Larousse Gastronomique. "They would be several years old before they were killed and therefore needed long and slow braising in a casserole (coq au vin)." These days, it's more traditional, of course, to use a regular chicken -- try the recipe with a free-range bird, which tends to have better flavor and texture than conventionally raised poultry.
A few tips: Buying a whole chicken is cheaper than getting one already cut up, and our technique video on jointing a chicken makes it easy to "fabricate" (the term many culinary professionals use for dividing meat, fish, and poultry into portions). You might notice that in the video, Chef Griffiths tosses the whole cut-up bird into the pan, including the backbone. While our recipe doesn't call for this not-too-meaty piece, this is a great chef's secret for adding extra flavor -- simply remove and discard the backbone after cooking the chicken and before reducing the sauce. The chef also adds fresh herbs just before serving the coq au vin, which is a nice way to add a burst of fresh flavor. If you prefer crispy bacon, feel free to serve it on top of the stew, as the chef does, instead of simmering it (it's delicious both ways). Serve the coq au vin with Burgundy wine, of course!
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Megan O. Steintrager is a senior editor at Epicurious.com. She has worked as a writer and editor at Epicurious since the late '90s. Steintrager holds a master's in journalism from New York University with a concentration in Cultural Reporting and Criticism, and has taken numerous cooking classes at New York 's Institute for Culinary Education and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health. She has worked as a writer and editor for ConsumerReports.org, Restaurant Business magazine, and Spin.com, and has been published in Self, Brides, and Time Out New York, among other print and online publications.
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