I don’t recall if I have ever celebrated Bastille Day in the past but this year I made a whole weekend of it. On Saturday we attended a wine dinner at Frogtown, our favorite winery in all of Georgia, and had a blast. The food was great and the wines were even better. For those of you who are wondering, I was skeptical of wines made in what I thought was an unsuitable climate until I visited and tried them for myself. Frogtown makes some really wonderful wines.
One of the dishes served at the dinner was coq au vin. I had this preconceived notion in my head that it would be heavy. Too heavy for a hot July evening. The last time I had this dish was at least 15 years prior and I was not a fan. Yet again, I was wrong in my assumption as the dish was insanely delicious. So good that I went home and made my own version the very next day. Mine was very good but theirs was better. I need to find out what was in their sauce because it had that somethin-somethin. I also made it the next day so my husband could try it (the Frogtown version was not gluten free).
I think one of the secrets to making this a lighter dish than I had feared was to braise it in a blend of red wine and stock (versus using only wine). I would have loved to use a rich stock like veal stock (this may be the Frogtown secret) but since this was very last minute, I had to settle for chicken stock. I think that if I had only used wine it would have been too rich. I may need to try out that theory because I seem to consistently have theories that turn out to be very wrong. I was really happy though, and as leftovers the dish was even better. The recipe is at the bottom of the page.
More about the Frogtown dinner. The winemaker, Craig Kritzer, was in San Diego judging a wine competition so his daughter Jordan helped out hosting the event. It was great to finally meet Jordan after hearing her parents sing her praises. She is a winemaker at Epoch Wines in Paso Robles, and prior to that was the winemaker at Chalk Hill in Sonoma. I will likely go back to Paso for our next wine tasting trip and hope to visit Epoch.
Dinner was outside on the patio and it was the perfect evening to dine al fresco. The wine was a-flowing and everyone there was very friendly and personable. This is the second dinner I have been to there and both were very memorable evenings. If you are ever in the North Georgia area (about an hour and a half north of Atlanta), I highly recommend a visit to Frogtown.
My Coq au Vin recipe:
8 chicken thighs (with skin and bones)
1/4 cup flour (I used GF)
5 carrots, peeled and cut into large slices
1 bag frozen pearl onion
small container button mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
1 small onion, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
2 cups stock (chicken, veal)
2 cups red wine (I used a Pinot Noir)
sprig of Thyme
salt / pepper to taste
1.Season chicken. Dredge in flour. Brown in oil until skin is crisp and light brown. Remove from pan
2. Lower heat and saute minced onion, garlic and shallot. Add wine and thyme. Reduce for a few minutes. Add stock. Bring to a slow boil.
3. Add chicken and veg. Cover and reduce to low heat or cook in oven on 275 for 2 hours. Taste and add salt if needed.
4. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.