Category Archives: French

Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine); Recipe

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is a classic French dish typically featuring Burgundy, Mushrooms and Lardons. I have prepared this dish using bacon in the past instead of Salt Pork. I must say the dish really shines with salt pork. Bacon overpowered the the Burgundy and herbs that had a better showing when I used Salt Pork. Coq Au Vin is a decadent display of classic French cuisine. Although this dish involves a little work; it is really quite easy and rewarding. Thanks to Darschon at the Party Source wine department for his excellent Burgundy recommendation; L’AURORE BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR 2010


1 Whole chicken cut upCoq Au Vin Ingredients

1 Bottle Burgundy or Pinot Noir

20 Pearl onions

20 Button mushrooms

2-3 Cloves garlic minced

4 Sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp dried

1/4 Pound salt pork

1/2 Stick butter

1 Bay leafSalt Pork

3 Tbsp flour

Cracked pepper

Salt to taste if needed

1-2 Tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Preparing the Pearl onions and Lardon (Salt Pork)

Anyone who has tried to peel pearl onions knows how difficult it can be. Pearl onions can be easily peeled with the following technique. Start by bringing water to a boil over high heat. Cut off a small portion of the tops of the onions. Place onions in a brown or plastic bag and blow in some air. Holding the bag closed shake vigorously for about 30 seconds; this removes a lot of the outer skin. Place all onions in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain water and remove onions to cold water. Cut the root ends off and squeeze off the outer layer of skin. Do not over boil the onions.

Cut Salt Pork into Lardon (Small strips or cubes). Heat a Dutch Oven over medium heat, add lardon and fry until golden brown. Remove lardon and save.

Fried Lardon

After rendering all the glorious pork fat from the lardon add 1/2 stick of butter. When the butter is melted coat the chicken pieces with flour and brown on both sides two pieces at a time. Remove chicken to a dish and fry the next two pieces until all the chicken is browned. Add onions and Lightly coat with about 1-2 tsp of sugar over medium heat. Let the onions cook stirring every minute or so. The sugar will help to caramelize the onions. Add mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2-3 tbsp of flour and stir to coat; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken back into the Dutch Oven along with the minced garlic. Pour entire bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir into the Dutch Oven. Add Bay leaf and thyme pushing them into the liquid. Add fried lardon and a generous amount of cracked black pepper.


Coq Au Vin 1

Cover and place into a 325 degree for 2-3 Hours. After cooking for 1-1 1/2 hours remove Dutch oven and turn over all pieces of chicken being careful not to damage them. Put back into oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The liquid should have thickened by now. Serve over egg noodles.

I absolutely love this dish and have fun making it. The mushrooms are an inconspicuous treasure bearing the fruits of all the ingredients soaking them up like a sponge.


Coq Au Vin 2


Moules Frites Recipe; Mussels Steamed in Belgian Ale with Fennel

Moules Frites   I had Moules Frites for the first time at The Hopleaf Bar in Chicago. Mussels Steamed in Belgian Ale with Fennel. I’ve had Moules Frites since then but never quite like the Hopleaf’s! So in the spirit of Truality Bar and Grill… I made it myself! The selection of the Belgian White Ale was very important so I went to the best. Danny Gold of the Party Source beer department!

For the Mussels


2 Pounds musselsIMAG0411

1 12 Oz bottle white Belgian Ale

1 Bulb Fennel sliced thin

1 Leek sliced thin

2-3 Ozs chopped parsley

3 Sprigs thyme

2 Cloves garlic sliced thin

1/4 Cup butter

Olive Oil

Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preparing Mussels for cooking Video

Tip: In addition to the video I would add…When cooking with wild mussels using the technique of flushing them with flour water to remove the sediment from inside. Cover your mussels with water and add a small amount of flour to the water. Let stand in water for up to an hour. The mussels will flush the remaining sediment out. Rinse and cover with water for an additional 20 minutes. “Farm Raised” mussels are pretty much sediment free and do not require flushing them.

Blanche De Bruxelles

The selection of the Belgian White Ale was very important so I went to the best. Danny Gold of the Party Source Beer Department was quite helpful and understood exactly what I was looking for in re-creating this classic Belgian Dish. Danny recommended Blache De Bruxelles which was a perfect match to the mussels, fennel and leeks.

In a large skillet or dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and leeks until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle in about a Tbsp of olive oil and add fennel, thyme and parsley. Saute an additional 3 minutes or so. Add one bottle of Belgian White or Blonde ale. When the liquid has come to a bubbling simmer add mussels and cover. Cook mussels for about 4-5 or until opened. It won’t take long! Serve in a bowl with broth and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley. Make sure to have a quality loaf of crusty bread; preferably French Baguette to soak up the broth.

For the Pomme Frites; French Fries.

Using a mandoline slicer cut potatoes into thin strips. There is no need to peel the potatoes; just make sure to wash them well. Cover cut potatoes with water for about 30 minutes; this helps remove some starch to prevent them from sticking together while cooking.

Tip: It is very important to dry the potatoes thoroughly before cooking to avoid being burned with oil splatter. Also be very careful to not add too many potatoes to the oil at a time. My first time I added too many; the oil bubbled over onto my stove almost causing a kitchen fire. I stress… be very, very careful!

Use only enough oil to come up less than half way full in your pan. Using too much oil will result in a bubble over onto your stove top. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry potatoes in batches for about 4-5 minutes. I like my fries cooked past golden to a little brown. Remove to a paper towel lined dish and season immediately while hot.

Green Bean & Potato Salad

Green Been, Asparagus and Potato Salad

Green Bean & Potato Salad


2 Pounds Green Beans or Asparagus or both005
1 Pound Red Potatoes
1 Cup Chopped Flat leaf Parsley
¼ cup Balsamic
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 Clove Minced or pressed garlic
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Steamed fresh sweet summer corn (optional)
Loaf French bread.

My sister lived in France for six years and brought back a variation of this recipe that I have played with to come up with this. The parsley can’t be substituted for anything else and makes this dish perfect for lunch dinner or a side to grilled meats on a hot summer day. I hope you like it.

Prepare a large bowl or sink filled with ice water. Steam green beans and potatoes one at a time until cooked but still crisp when bitten and remove to ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Add parsley, garlic, olive oil, cracked pepper and Balsamic vinegar. Fold ingredients gingerly making sure not to damage potatoes. I like to use my hands as they are the best mixing tools I have. Do not add salt to this dish until it hits your plate. The salt will draw out the moisture in the green beans making them soft.

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