On Wednesday, 15th of August, was Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Even though it’s a hot summer’s day, I thought I’d pay Julia an honour by cooking something as warming as coq au vin. I didn’t actually used a rooster for this dish, i used a chicken. I should probably called it poule au vin since it’d be more appropriate, oh well. Same difference.
Chicken soaked in red wine and then braised in the same liquid until the meat is tenderized with a sauce thickened with some beurre manié is simply quite delicious. I cheated a bit by skipping a few steps like not flambeing the chicken with cognac, not using pearl onions and not cooking the vegetables each at a time. It still worked out pretty well.
Mushrooms. I want to share that I find shitake mushrooms or any mushrooms of the dried variety works better than fresh ones for this dish. You see, fresh mushrooms have a lot of liquid that you must get rid off by cooking for a long time. And mushrooms when not cooked properly is an acquire taste. You have to love it so much to not mind the rotting wood flavour/aroma, which is something you’ll get from soggy mushrooms. So do yourselves a favour and use dried mushrooms, re-hydrate and let the liquid be part of your stock too.
My kitchen was hot from making coq au vin but every sweat drop was worth it. This is my sort of semi-cheat version.
I had 1lb of pork belly in the freezer and I had no idea what to do with it. So I hit up my foodie bestie, Kwok Mun, and one of his braising suggestions kind of hit a home run. Well, it didn’t help that I had Diners, Drive-ins and Dives playing on the TV as well. It was decided that the pork belly will be braised. Overnight. Yep, you heard me alright. I braised my pork belly overnight in my oven for over 8 hours in a slow and nice heat – 240F to be exact (approx. 120 C) – in a fragrant pool of dark liquid made up of similar ingredients to my other braised pork dish. The end result was delicious. Meat falling off the bones scandalously with an oh-so-tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
You will want this recipe. read more …