Last week I went to a birthday dinner for a dear friend at Le Jardin du Roi in Chappaqua, where I had their seriously delicious Coq au Vin avec Pomme Dauphine — “Chicken stewed with root vegetables in a rich Burgundy wine sauce with potato croquettes.” The sauce was deep and velvety; the chicken as tender as could be. I knew I had to try to make it at home.
I used a recipe from Good Housekeeping called Eight-Hour Coq au Vin. I made a bunch of adjustments, but I’m not going to write up the recipe just yet — I need to make it one more time before I’m happy with it.
I will tell you that I omitted the bacon entirely and did use a whole chicken as the recipe suggests. Many other recipes I read suggested you only use dark meat if you’re going to put it in your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I have to agree — the white meat definitely tasted drier than the dark, and next time I’ll try to get my hands on some boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Alas, the boys were skeptical of the inside piece of chicken that I dissected from the sauce. They were 99% plain, but that is clearly not enough. Oh well. I keep thinking about something my friend Karen said to me recently while we were discussing difficult eaters: “If you don’t cook it, you have a 100% chance that they will not eat it.” I’ll keep cooking.