Coq Au Vin is really peasant food. Originally, it was made from an old chicken, and the wine was there not so much for flavor, but the soften the old bird up. It took a long time to cook, but the flavors were wonderful, so it became very popular. Of course, Julia Child made it famous. Her version was much simpler because people could buy a young chicken at the market, and did not have to wait until old Bessie was ready to kick the bucket.
I haven’t made this dish in years, not because it is difficult to make, but because I never seem to have all the ingredients together. It is actually pretty simple to make, just takes a little time because the flavors need to marry.
I had originally intended to make Boeuf Bourguignon, but we had Shepard’s Pie last night for dinner, so I was thinking I didn’t want to have beef again so soon. So, I actually went on Facebook and asked whether I should make Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. The consensus was chicken, so I started getting the ingredients together. The only thing I did not have was pearl onions, and not because I hadn’t tried to get them at the market, they just didn’t have any, so I used a regular onion and cut it into big pieces instead.
Many years ago before the Food Channel because the Food Network, I happened to be watching some show and the guest chef made this most wonderful stew with country pork ribs, tortillas and a blender. I was so impressed with what he did that I went out, bought the ingredients, and made it the very next day. It was delicious, and became one of my favorites. It’s been so long that I don’t remember what it was even called, but I called it Green Chili Pork Stew.
It’s funny who your life changes over the years, different relationships, different priorities. You put your favorites away in some dusty mental attic to make room for all the other new and exciting foods. Then you find yourself on a cold, rainy day about to make Chili Colorado, when you spy some tortillas and decide at the last-minute to make that wonderful stew from so very long ago.
When I made this, I didn’t have country pork ribs, I had pork stew meat, which was just as good. However, now that I’ve had it again, I’m going to go out and get some country ribs. Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, but are instead contain parts of the shoulder blade (scapula).