Even the most particular person always has at least one thing to marvel at when they think of the French: food. French food is one of the oldest, proudest and most regulated gastronomical traditions in the world. This is not to say that Indian, Thai, Spanish or any of the other traditions are lacking in some way, but they were not institutionalized as early as the French. For example, just check out L’Express (3927 Rue St-Denis). If you ever end up eating there, you will see why it is known simply as “the Institution”; mirrored wooden walls, small tables, waiters in butcher aprons… everything in the restaurant could have been pulled straight out of 1930s Paris.
The point remains: good French food is good. The recipes are always tasty, rarely strange or odd and are probably older than you by a good 40 years, minimum.One of the oldest recipes you will find is Coq au Vin. There are hundreds of different versions out there, and this one is on the traditional side. Ingredients1 Whole young bird or 2 kg of deboned chicken fillets1 Bottle of Red Wine (preferably French, of course)1 oz. Cognac200 g of Thick-Cut Bacon (from a butcher)4 tbsp. Butter10 Small white onions, cut in half2 Cloves Garlic1 Bunch Herbes de Provence200 g small mushrooms2 tbsp. FlourSalt and Pepper
Procedure – Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. – Cut the coq into large pieces. Cut the bacon into small chunks, removing the fat. Mince the garlic.- Melt the butter in a large pot. Brown the coq on all sides by placing it in the pot over medium heat, making sure all sides of the meat brown in the butter. While browning, add the onions, garlic, bacon, herbes de Provence, mushrooms, salt and pepper.-Warm the cognac in a small saucepan. Light the cognac and flambez le coq (pour on the burning cognac). -When the flames die naturally, pour in the red wine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. -Place the covered pot in the oven for about an hour for a 2kg bird. Add seven minutes for each additional ½ kilo. n
Serves six to eight people depending on the size of the bird.