Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Coq Au Vin Recipe and Emeril – Chicken Cooked in Wine

I am an epicurean, which means, that day and night, my mind is somewhere in the vicinity of food and drinks. I use the three regular meals to get through my day. When I’m eating breakfast, I’m already planning what I want to eat for lunch. At lunch, I’m pondering my dinner course. And sometimes, after going out to see a band or to some other social function, I consider the possibility of eating a midnight snack. Usually something fried and savory. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t have a satisfying meal, I feel as if there’s a void and become irritable.

Most of us, I assume, have the Food Network on sometime of the day. Whether or not you’re actually paying attention to the show, it’s just so comforting hearing the language of food. Even if it’s the annoying “bam”, “EVOO” or “yummm” (Rachael Ray) sayings that have desensitized us. Yet, we force ourselves to endure such cheese, because we truly are pigs that live to eat. The second I get home, the Food Network is flipped on.

One night, I sat on the couch in a completely, vegetative trance, watching Emeril Live. The lame lines we’ve grown numb to, simply had no effect on me.

“I don’t know where you get your ______ from. But where I get mine, they don’t come seasoned.”

“Call your cable company and order Smell-a-vision right now!”

“Use your knob.”

“See, they’re getting happy.”

“Just needs about 80 cloves of gah-lic.”

Ugh. So repulsive. Nothing on his show ever appeals to me and I question his true ability to cook. Like most celebrity chefs, they’re just an act. A face. Does anyone really think Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade can actually cook? Hear what Yoony of Immaeatchu and Slash Food bloggers have to say about Miss Lee. I think it’s awesome that Bourdain could give a rat’s ass about no longer working for the Food Network. If you’ve read his wonderful novel, Kitchen Confidential, you’ll feel the love he has for Flay and Legasse. In one part, Bourdain tells us how essential it is to have the squeeze bottles for final touches, stating that “Bobby Flay has been making Mexican food look like Haute cuisine for year with these bad boys.” Funny. It’s also interesting to note that Emeril has his show setup like a modern, monkey-lab experiment. He’s got everyone wired to a metal cap that sends out electric shocks every time he mentions the word ‘garlic’ and ‘pork fat’. And the crowd never fails to respond. Bourdain sums up Emeril’s crowd as basically “a group of barking seals at Sea World -- hoping for some of the crap that he cooks”. Hilarious. I’m pretty sure anyone fortunate enough to sit at his counter is told beforehand to pretend the food is remotely delicious.

But once in a while, he will cook something that does sound appealing. If it doesn’t involve 80 cloves of garlic, 2 whole blocks of butter and 1/2 a bottle of Rum, I’ll actually continue watching. For me, it was Coq Au Vin, a French stew consisting of chicken, vegetables and wine. Cooked and dredged in alcohol, this rustic farmers dish was a great way to combine ‘not-so-fresh’ ingredients for a Sunday brunch. The chicken meat falls off the bone beautifully and is lathered with gravy made from the wine and chicken broth. Yum. And the best part of cooking this dish is that you get to employ some pyrotechnic techniques known as flambéing with Brandy. Pure fun.

Ingredients for 4
12-14 drumsticks
1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon (my wine of choice. Use pinot noir for a sweeter overall taste. Say no to merlot. It’s way too dry and tannic.)
1 cup of brandy
2 carrots
1 large onion (or 20 pearl onions)
Crimini mushrooms
1 can of chicken broth
2-3 pieces of bacon
Bouquet garni (a sprig of thyme, parsley and bay leaf)
Parsley (garnish)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Here we go. This is damn easy, and adds a nice scent to the kitchen.

(1) Salt & pepper the chicken. Heat your pan and add olive oil and butter over medium heat. Next fry the bacon until all the fat has been rendered out. Once the bacon is crisp you’re good to go. Remove the bacon and add the chicken and make sure it’s been browned nicely over high heat. Don’t worry about the meat being undercooked because that’s what braising is for! Once it’s browned, reserve about 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. You don’t want to overpower the dish.

(2) PAY ATTENTION. Remove the pan off the stove and add the brandy. Ignite the brandy and let the alcohol burn out for about a minute or two. Cool huh? Once the flames die out, set it back on the stove and lower the heat to LOW. Let it cook for a few minutes. (*Note. The reason professional chefs can add alcohol over direct heat is because they have high-ceilings, $10,000 overhead fans and FIRE EXTINGUISHERS.)

(3) Heat up a dutch oven or large stock pot and add butter/olive oil over medium heat. Get it nice and hot and add the carrots, onions and mushrooms with some flour for thickening/browning. (10 minutes).

(4) Now combine the chicken/brandy pan into the stock pot and add the whole bottle of wine, chicken broth and bouquet garni. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until desired tenderness of the chicken. The veggies should also be fork tender. Salt & pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.

Coq Au Vin can be served as is, or as I like it, with a plate of rice. I do have to maintain integrity for my people right? Thanks for reading.


yoony said...

hi dylan,

like your new blog face! ahh, food network and its gimmicks. i am so used to it that it rolls in one ear and rolls out the other. sometimes i watch it with the volume really low or on mute to save myself any stress from listening to the fools who love to hear themselves talk.

anyhow, coq au vin sounds delicious. i need to utilize my le creuset pot, whose size i underestimated, for something more substantial. i recently made soup in it and the soup only came up about 2 inches in height!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

haha, with your 30 quart le creuset pot, you can feed an entire Chinese village. will you be kind enough to donate that pot to me? i am part of that village haha. so for the recipes, multiply everything by like 20.

Professor Salt said...

Hi Dylan,

Great new template. I like the fancy stationery look of the parchment.

I went through an anti-Emeril phase too, but the man obviously loves his work and I envy someone with that much enthusiasm for his work.

The Semi Ho is another matter entirely. Don't even get me started.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

prof. haha. did you read the slash food link? she got hammered on there.

elmomonster said...

Agree with you on all counts. The Food Network is the first channel I turn to, but if Emeril or that Semi-Ho (good one Prof!) is on, then I flip to the History Channel. I am still partial to the cooking shows on PBS, especially the Julia Child reruns. Ironically, my favorite episode of Julia Child's Cooking with Master Chefs is the one where a young Emeril Lagasse showed how to make a crab boil and etoufee. I do believe he was passionate and great cook then - you could see the twinkle and enthusiasm in his eyes. Now, he's nothing but a brand name to me.

Bourdain is still irreverent and cool as he ever was. Self-effacing and funny. I watch "A Cook's Tour" reruns like people watch I Love Lucy.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

5 points for the Prof. for the new Sandra Lee name.

I'd like to catch the PBS stuff. I've seen glimpses of a young and pork-fat-free Emeril. He used to host a show called How To Boil Water, which Tyler Florence hosts. The funny thing about H2BW is that Jack Courigan (the dummy) got set to the side once Tyler stepped on. Mr. Food 911 won't allow her in the kitchen and you can see she's not happy about it.

Have you guys read any of Bourdain's books? His Coq Au Vin recipe just took way too long, so I skipped out on it. And he SUGGESTS using pigs blood to 'thicken' the broth.

I've actually given discovery HOME channel a chance in the culinary department. They have 5...

Cookin' In Brooklyn (Alan Harding)
Chef At Home (Michael Smith)
License to Grill (Rob Rainford)
Inner Chef (Marcus Samuelsson)
Kylie Kwong

Probably never heard of them. I'll be posting on them once I form an opinion. But for a change, it's good to see different faces dabbling with the things we love.

BoLA said...

Great post. Lucky for me (or unlucky for me), I have no cable so I don't get to view the Food Channel as much as I'd like. So I watch a lot of PBS at home. Public television is awesome! ;)

Anyhow, it sucks to be without my laptop...haven't posted since it's been shipped back to Apple. But I got the call that I can pick it up tomorrow. Yay!

Sorry to hear that there was no fish to be had this weekend. ;) Did you end up going to the foodblogging dinner?

The UnProfessional Chef said...

Hi Dylan

Glad to know I'm not the only strange person who flips on the Food Network the instant I can! I was obsessed with Food Network when I lived in Northern California for a year (had to fight over the channels with my husband who was in turn obsessed with the History Channel :) ). Didn't like Emeril much but watched every last episode I could of Anthony Bourdain's series. Too bad he's off the network though. I no longer get the Food Network anymore here in Singapore but we ocassionally get some of these programmes (the better ones thankfully) on Discovery Travel and Adventure. My current favourite is Floyd! Keep cooking!

sarah said...

hey dylan - another facelift!

okay, i am so with you on the emeril and sandra lee. but as strange as it is, i can't turn her off when her show comes on. i just watch in utter amazement as she perpetrates. and i hate that all she ever says is "I WANT YOU TO..." watch her and you'll start to hear it. it's incessant. "I WANT YOU TO...." ack!

anyway...i ADORE tony b. glad he just got done filming season 2 :) of no reservations (on travel - you should watch it)

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Kristy, hopefully MS gets some cable TV. i know he wouldn't mind watching FN since we watch it over at nick's anyway. did MS show you the fish WE DID catch? haha. it's a 551 lb fish. fish n' chips for days!

Un-ChefThanks for visiting. If you get the discov channel, there are a few cooking shows worth checking out.

Sarah"I want you to go to Michael's right now and buy these beautiful tablescapes i've set up. It'll really boost up those kraft cheez whiz nachos." haha. i'm reading bourdain's "A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures". So far so good. I've only watched season 1 of No Reservations, great show. How's the job search?

Daily Gluttony said...


Emeril used to bug me too, but what I ended up realizing is it's not really him that bugs me it's the Live Show and its stupid audience. I mean really, why do they have to go nuts everytime he adds garlic???

But as for Tony Bourdain, ooooh hubba hubba. I love that bad ass mo' fo'.

Prof Salt's "Semi-Ho" moniker for Sandra Lee is the best I've heard yet!!! Bee-yotch gets on my nerves!!!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Pam, that's a good point. I think i've become more irritated by the smily, garlic-loving audience. I really wonder if Emeril and Doc Gibbs like each other. A mid-show altercation would be hilarious.


Mark Kawayoshi said...

I read your entire post and not one mention of the man Alton Brown. I'm going to try to make his brined porkchops. I don't think I have ever attempted on of Emeril's dishes...

Kirk said...

Hey Dylan - I've taken to watching Discovery Home as well - but mainly for the reruns of "Great Chefs".

Oh, BTW, your word verification for this post was: UCHEWY


eatdrinknbmerry said...

mark, you know i like alton brown. not as much as you. that guy gets high off providing you with knowledge, not from the audience barking for more garlic.

kirk, i like Kylie Kwong from Discovery Home. She reminds me of an Asian Barefoot Contessa with an Australian accent. even blogger knows that we're pigs!

J said...

hi dylan, that coq au vin looks fantastic...and your funny post made me laugh out loud - i couldn't agree more...

alan said...

Dylan, others have covered the Food Network portion of this post pretty well, but for me it was the first paragraph that struck the best chord, "When I’m eating breakfast, I’m already planning what I want to eat for lunch. At lunch, I’m pondering my dinner course." Yes! That's exactly how my brain works. The Wife thinks I'm crazy, but all day every day I'm scheming my next two or three meals, planning where to eat or where to stop for the best ingredients...

Blogger said...

umm . . it's been 8 days since your last post . . . you on another vacation or something? I made my mac n cheese this past weekend . . . 8 pounds of cheese = mmmmmm!

Courtney said...

Thank you, Dylan for saying what no one else dares to say about those overrated TV chefs. *Love* the Emeril bit. ha-ha!

Anonymous said...

I watch Emeril all the time and have cooked many of his recipes and think he is awsome and most of his food is all are wrong!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin