The first time I ever got to light a dish on fire was making coq au vin. I was in graduate school, so it was before all the Dorie/AmFT stuff, and it was for the Barefoot Contessa’s version of the dish. Flambéing the brandy when added to the veggies is such fun as it adds that sense of danger–will I end up burning some hairs off my eyebrows? Or just give myself a little lash on the arm?
Flambéing sounds so much more elegant and less dangerous than what it really is: lighting the dish on fire.
Alas, there was no lighting things on fire to be seen here. Probably the most surprising part of making Lebovitz’s version of Coq au Vin was marinating the chicken, herbs, and veggies in the wine for about 36 hours. I used some leftover odds and ends chicken parts I had in the freezer, so I ended up with 2 thighs, a breast, and 6 drumsticks. Anyway, I digress: the chicken came out of the marinade this absolutely gorgeous purple color (I’m being semi-sarcastic here as when I first saw it, I was put off)! I mean, it was vibrant.
All in all, this was a pretty traditional coq au vin, but for some chocolate added at the end to deepen the flavors. I found the dish overall to be very soupy, to the point I did thicken it a bit with some cornstarch. I gave up after one round of cornstarch, wondering if it simply is supposed to be that way.
I think what I’ll definitely take away from this version is marinating the chicken in the wine! Otherwise, I’m probably going to stick to lighting brandy on fire.