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Monday, January 02, 2012

Coq au Vin

I still can’t decide if this dish is even worth the tremendous effort required to pull it off. It is definitely one of those dishes that make you just sit back after every bite and groan with pleasure. If you make it at home I guarantee that it will be better than what you order in MOST restaurants. It’s difficult to serve in a restaurant situation. Your friends will love you for it, if that is a big consolation.  I used a hen this time, or gallina as it’s called in Spanish. No coqs, roosters, or gallos to be found on my shopping expedition to the Russafa market.  The hen worked well as a substitute

Hens can lay an egg a day whether or not they have been fertilized by the male. They begin laying at about six months and can lay eggs until they reach about two years.  Chickens raised for meat are male and female, sold at 6 to 12 weeks old. An older bird means tougher meat which means a different cooking process. And with the need to find a way to cook a very old rooster thus was born the fricassee method of stewing the bird in sauce or gravy. The meat, skin, and connective tissue in these old birds are tougher but this also means that they will lend more flavor over a long cooking time. If you made this same dish with chicken, using the same cooking time as in this video, the chicken would completely liquefy.

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