Dish number 3 of France was very familiar to us. Coq au vin is much like its predecessor boeuf bourguignon, a stew that features many similar ingredients. This was all well and good with us.
We had a more intimate dinner party with two friends of ours, Burley and his wife, Mary Lynn. Though older and wiser than both Spencer and I, they are among the most appreciative and interesting people I have met. Burley hailed from the University of Toledo, a retired German professor, and was in the process of translating important German works by Faust and Rudolf Steiner. Mary Lynn was an active music therapist, though her arthritis ended her days as a violinist. They had traveled and lived across the country before settling down in Michigan, right near the border of Ohio.
We have many things in common with Burley and Mary Lynn, like our love for the German language, music, and even our interest in other cultures. This made them perfect guests for an international meal. Coq au vin, though similar to our previous dish, still felt new. The chicken made the dish taste a little lighter, yet still rich with flavor.
For the second time, I baked bread for the meal because if feels like an essential part of the dish. You crave a piece of bread to soak up that delicious broth. You need the texture of the crusty outside and the porous inside to balance the stew and create the full experience. Store bought bread works when you are low on time, but if you have the chance, bake it fresh. Your kitchen smells like heaven, and your taste buds will thank you.
- Bacon or pancetta
- Yellow Onion
- Cognac or good brandy
- 1/2 bottle dry red wine
- Chicken stock
- Fresh thyme
- Frozen small onions
- Cremini mushrooms
- Never baked bread before? No fear! This is a helpful website that includes pictures of each step and has a variety of recipes – some time consuming, others not at all!