A Coq au Vin of a Different Color | Recipe

February 14, 2015 2:25 AM

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A Coq au Vin of a Different Color | Recipe

WHEN I WAS growing up in Southern California on a steady diet of Caesar salads and backyard-grilled steak, French cuisine—let alone regional variations therein—truly was a foreign concept. My first coq au vin, during my freshman year of college, opened up worlds. The suave upperclassman who was my dinner date had booked a table at Harvard Square’s one serious restaurant, Chez Dreyfus. After selecting a good Burgundy, he suggested we order the place’s signature dish. I may have known nothing about French food, but I understood enough of the language to translate the name: “rooster in wine.”

Our dinners arrived in little cast-iron casseroles, one for each of us. Lifting the lids, we were overwhelmed by a sensual and intense, burgundy-enhanced aroma. To the 17-year-old me, this dish of slow-cooked capon, mushrooms and smoky bacon lardons in a garnet-colored sauce seemed the chicest, most...

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