Most coq au vin recipes feature a soup pot of chicken and vegetables and use upwards of an entire bottle of wine. And if you’ve got a gumbo hen or yard bird to cook, this vintage method is perfect. A tough old bird needs a long simmer submerged in a potent brew. But a young, pastured chicken doesn’t benefit from tradition. The meat is stained through with the wine and loses it’s delicate poultry flavor. The skin is flabby and unwanted, and there’s way more sauce than meat.
So I revised the tradition to highlight the wonderful flavor of chickens I get at the Hub City Farmers Market from Gotreaux Family Farms. There’s still plenty of flavorful sauce to swirl the chicken in, lots of earthy mushrooms and bright little bites of pearl onion. And I decided to employ the Cajun/Creole trinity of onion, celery and bell pepper instead of the standby French combination of onion, celery and carrot for a Louisiana interpretation of this classic dish. Heresy abounds in this recipe, but it’s delicious, so who cares? I’ve often wondered why the trinity isn’t a quartet as I’ve never seen a Louisiana recipe for the holy three without garlic joining in the chorus.
A few simple ingredients come together for a savory, comforting dish. I always have bone broth in cube form in the freezer for an added boost of nutrition and flavor. Start with a quick turn in an oven-proof skillet:
There are no difficult techniques. Put on some music (supplied for your pleasure.) Stir and pop in the oven for a finishing roast. Serve with green beans amandine.
Voilà! Dinner is served.
Hold your loved ones close. Cherish every moment of your time with them. Let go of the petty details. Sit at the table, share good food, happy conversation, laughs and music. You will never regret it.