I spent the summer of 1978 traveling around Europe with some friends. We were always on the lookout for good local food, that was cheap.
In Paris, we found this hole-in-the-wall place that had no formal menu. They had a chalkboard by the door that told you what they were cooking today. The price was excellent, and on that day, the meal was coq au vin. The meal was served family style. They put a big pot of food in front of us, and gave us all bowls. It was awesome.
The first step is to brown some bacon in cast iron. How can it be bad if that is the first step?
You are supposed to coat your skinless chicken legs and thighs in flour, and brown them in the bacon fat. But, I chose to coat the chicken in flour, and spray it with canola oil, and brown it on the Smokey Joe over hot coals.
Once the bacon is done, and the chicken is browned, I put them both aside.
I used the bacon fat to sauté my diced onions, sliced mushrooms, and minced garlic.
When they were nicely browned, I added half a bottle of dry red wine, and deglazed the pot. Then I put the bacon back in, and added the browned chicken, and some chicken stock. I cut some fresh thyme from my garden, and tossed that on top.
I let that braise for about forty minutes. Towards the end of the braise, I browned some pearl onions in butter on the coals left on the Smokey Joe. I took a picture of the butter melting in the pan, but forgot to take a farking picture of the golden brown pearl onions.
Oh, well. The final step was to add a Beurre Manie as a thickener. It is just a 50/50 mix of room temperature butter and flour.
This is how it looks on a plate. Nothing fancy, just good food.
I would like to dedicate this meal to my friend and neighbor, Lisa, the sweetest girl I've ever known. She was with us that summer, and ate that meal with us, and left us way to early due to cancer. I had a good meal and enjoyed a few good memories. It doesn't get any better than that.