Monday, February 21, 2011

Julia Child and Edith Piaf Visit Tuscany!

OK…work with me here,  pour yourself a glass of wine and click on the link for this video before you read any further….come on, just do it……..

let it play, sip your wine, then continue to read.  You’ll be glad you did!  

No Regrets!

"Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship."   Elsa Schiaparelli

I think I would have really liked Elsa Schiaparelli!

It has been a busy time around a Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen.  TJD and SJD were in town for a while…hence lots of gathering, fooding and wining took place.  We enjoyed their company. I savored every moment of it!  

During the course of the week we imbibed in a wee bit o' wine ….sometimes there was stuff left in the bottle….can you imagine?

Well not wanting to be wasteful….and also not too interested in drinking the dregs of assorted bottles, we collected them together, put on Edith Piaf and channeled our inner Julia Child for inspiration. 

Viola…….the perfect conditions for something amazingly tasty and comforting!

TJD and I love spending time together in the and chatting. If you want to make your kitchen smell like yummy goodness, you have got to try this.  Your family will thank you.  Mine did.........

Coq au Vin

Here is the chicken, lightly browned and waiting for it's wine bath!


1 large roasting chicken
or 5 thighs and 5 legs
1 pound pearl onions, peeled  (a quick blanch makes peeling easier)
4 shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Bottle of your favorite red wine
¼ cup butter, reserve 2 tsp for the mushroom and onion mixture
¼ AP flour
1 lb Crimini or button mushrooms
1-litre chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking oil (grapeseed is my preference, olive oil is a bit too strong here)

Preheat oven to 350

If using a whole chicken, cut into 8 parts.
Season chicken parts with salt and pepper
In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet with a lid, brown the chicken pieces in cooking oil.  
Add butter and shallots after the chicken is lightly browned
Sprinkle flour over chicken pieces, add the butter 
Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until a thin paste has formed in the pan
Add garlic, thyme, wine, bay leaves and top up with chicken stock to just cover chicken pieces
Bring to simmer on stove, allow the sauce to thicken
Cover with lid and put into oven for 60 – 70 minutes

While chicken is in the oven..........pour yourself a glass of wine :-)

Melt the  2 tps of reserved butter in a  sauté pan
Add the pearl onions and mushrooms with a pinch of salt, sauté for 2 minutes
Add 1/2cup chicken stock simmer for 30 minutes

Pearl Onions and Mushrooms in the sauté  pan

Remove the chicken from the oven after one hour and add mushrooms and onions.
Adjust seasonings, sprinkle with parsley and serve with new potatoes and buttered carrots.

Coq au Vin, served with buttered potatoes and carrots

Play more French music, light a candle, gather your people around the table, dig into your Coq au Vin and enjoy another glass or two of your favorite wine!

"Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life 
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship."        Elsa Schiaparelli


  1. I love Edith Piaf!!

    wow, i want to try Coq du Vin, I was going to try it for vday dinner. i read somewhere that there's a version with white wine?

  2. Hi Mo,
    you can certainly substitute white wine....just pick something on the drier side. I have even done a version with Champagne, when there is some left around here......of course, that doesn't happen very often :-)