Okay I'm not gonna be able to post much today so here ya go.
Coq au vin
Like Bankshot said this literally means rooster cooked in wine. French farmers, not being ones to waste anything, would cook the old rooster once his services to the hen house were done. To help break down the tough meat they utilized the acids in red wine. Hard to find rooster in the grocery store so my recipe is done with regular old chicken. I've tried numerous ways to make this. The best involved marinating a whole chicken over night in wine with some garlic and herbs. Since most of us don't always have the luxury of taking 2 days to make one meal I'll post my easiest, most used recipe. A lot of it is taken directly from Julia Child, God bless her.
3lbs chicken-I use thighs, bone in, skin on.
4 oz. bacon cut into lardons (1/4 in. rectangular strips)
1/4 cup cognac
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bouquet garni
3 tbsp flour
2tbsp butter, softened
24 pearl onions
1/2 lb button mushrooms
Dry the chicken, season with salt and pepper, set aside. In a large Dutch oven or pot cook the bacon in a little olive oil till brown, remove and set aside. Add the chicken to the pot in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Put all the chicken and bacon back in the pot, cover and cook on low for 10 min. turning chicken once. Remove the chicken and set aside.
De-glaze the pot with the cognac (for a little fun you can light it with a match and flambe all the good stuff on the bottom of the pot.) Add the red wine and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and just enough chicken stock to cover the pieces. Add the tomato paste and bouquet garni, cover and simmer for 30 min. At this time you can prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Simply saute the mushrooms in olive oil 4-5 minutes till lightly browned. Peel the onions (a pain in the ass but it's easier if you dump them in boiling water for 1 min. and then cool with cold water.) Saute the onions in olive oil till browned, then add some water to the pan, cover and cook until the onions are soft, about 20 min.
When the chicken is done cooking remove from the pot along with the bouquet garni, crank up the heat and reduce the liquid to about 2 cups. Mix the flour and butter together into a paste and whisk into the liquid to thicken it. Add the chicken, onions, mushrooms and a little chopped parsley back to the pot and simmer to warm. Serve with egg noodles or new potatoes, salad, French bread and a good red wine.