Coq au Vin - Reprised
Today after church, I got bored. Being that it was Sunday, I reached over for the Good Book to meditate upon it. (i.e. Mastering the Art of French Cooking.)
I was re-reading the recipe for Julia's Coq au Vin and realized that I had left out a couple of steps when I made it previously. She calls for boiling the bacon, rendering out the fat and then frying it in butter. I had simply fried it like we would for breakfast. She had also called for a half tablespoon of tomato paste and I forgot to put that in.
I was bored. I missed doing the Julia thing. So I made another batch of Coq au Vin. This time, I followed her instructions explicitly; even boiling the bacon, rinsing it under cold water and frying it in butter. (Sigh - - I'll even admit that in my last attempt, I didn't saute the mushrooms in butter properly. I just moved them around in the pan, not letting them brown.) I was a bad, evil person, thinking I could tamper with the literal meaning, the intended interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
This time, I took my time.
I got to flambé the Cognac again. That's always fun.
Another thing I noticed is that Julia wrote that Coq au Vin could be made with any wine: red, white, even Riesling. Normally it is made with red, but I got to thinking that the bitter taste may have come from using all that red wine.
It was just as well. I didn't have the requisite 3 cups of red on hand, but I did have two of the red and a cup of the leftover Sauvignon Blanc from the fricassee.
Bingo! That worked.
Can you believe this turned out even better than the last time? It just goes to show you that Julia Child has done her homework. No matter how good of a cook you think you are, follow her inerrant word.
I think this is the best thing of hers I've made thus far.