Finishing the dish. Strain, degrease,

Caq au Yin
Chicken in red Viline ith small braised w onions, mushrooms, and lardons of pork An elaboration on the far more elementary preceding ragout, coq au vin involves more hand work since you have lardons of bacon to prepare for the special flavor they give to the sauce. Then there is the traditional garnish of small braised onions and sauteed mushrooms. The combination makes a wonderfully satisfying dish, and a fine one for company.
For 4 servings Vzcup (4 ounces) lardons-lby V4inch strips of blanched slab bacon or salt pork (see Special Note) Ingredients for the Ragout of Chicken and Onions in Red Wine (preceding page), minus the sliced onions V3 cup good brandy, optional 12 to 16 small brown-braised white onions (page 287) 3 cups fresh mushrooms, trimmed, quartered, and sauteed (page 313) Browning and simmering the chicken.

and finish the sauce, also as described. Strew the braised onions and sauteed mushrooms over the chicken, baste with the sauce, and simmer a few minutes, basting, to rewarm the chicken and to blend flavors.


Suggested accompaniments for a ragout of chicken
Either arrange the chicken on a hot platter and decorate with small steamed potatoes and parsley, or mound it on a bed of rice or noodles. You could also serve a fresh green vegetable, or follow the chicken with a tossed green salad and cheese. A light young red wine is recommended here, presumably the same one you used in the dish itself.



To blanch bacon or salt pork
When you use bacon or salt pork in cooking, you want to remove its salt as well as its smoky flavor, which would permeate the rest of the food. To do so, you blanch it, meaning you drop it into a saucepan of cold water to cover it by 2 to 3 inches, bring it to the boil, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes; then drain, refresh in cold water, and pat dry in paper towels.

Before browning the chicken, saute the blanched bacon or salt pork and remove to a side dish, leaving the fat in the pan. Brown the chicken in the pork fat, adding a little olive oil, if needed. Flame the chicken with the brandy, if you wish (see Special Note, page 41 I)-it does give its own special flavor, besides being fun to do. Then proceed to simmer the chicken in the wine, stock, tomatoes, and seasoning as directed in the master recipe.






Ragout of Chicken and Onions in Red Wine
For 4 servings

21/2 to 3 pounds frying.chicken (pages 136-7)


2 Tbs butter 1 Tbs olive oil or good cooking oil 3 cups sliced onion Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 or 2 large doves of garlic, pureed 1 imported bay leaf % tsp or so thyme 1 large ripe red unpeeled tomato, chopped, or % cup canned Italian plum tomatoes 3 cups young red wine (zinfandel, Macon, or Chianti type) 1 or more cups chicken stock Beurre manic for the sauce (11/2 Tbs each flour and softened butter blended to a paste) Fresh parsley sprigs, or chopped parsley

Ragout of Chicken and Onions in Red Wine

brown lightly. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl to remove excess fat. Simme1~ing the chicken. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper; return it to the pan. Add the browned onions, and the garlic, bay, thyme, and tomato. Pour in the wine and enough stock barely to cover the ingredients. Bring to the simmer; cover, and simmer slowly 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender when pressed. Finishing the chicken-the sauce. Remove the chicken to a side dish, and spoon surface fat off the cooking juices. Pour the juices (and onions) into a saucepan and taste very carefully for strength and seasoning. Boil down rapidly if it needs strength, adding more of the seasonings if you think them necessary.

A heavy-bottomed 12-inch frying pan or casserole 2 inches deep, and a cover for the pan (or an electric frying pan) Browning the chicken-about 5 minutes. Dry the chicken parts thoroughly, and brown in hot butter and oil, as described in detail for sauteed chicken on page 137. Remove to a side dish, leaving the fat in the pan. The onions. Stir the onions into the pan and saute over moderate heat until fairly tender, then raise heat and

Off heat, whisk the beurre manic to make a lightly thickened sauce (see Special Note, page 143). Bring briefly to the simmer-the sauce should be just thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Wash out the casserole; return the chicken to it, basting with the sauce and onions. *-Ahead-of-time note.' If you are not serving shortly, set aside uncovered. Or, for later serving, refrigerate uncovered. Cover when chilled. Serving. Before serving, reheat, basting the chicken with the sauce; simmer a few minutes to rewarm nicely but not to overcook. Decorate with parsley and serve. See the Special Note on the next page for suggested accompaniments.



rapidly, uncovered, to evaporate any cooking juices; fold with a little butter and minced fresh parsley, and they make a fine accompaniment to almost any main-course dish.

An unlikely boil-steam

candidate system

for the

*Ahead~of-time note: May be braised in advance, and reheated.
Piercing the root end of an onion VARIATIONS

Fresh Green Store-Bought Peas
Few of us are so lucky as to have tender fresh green peas just out of the garden, so sweet and young they hardly need warming through. However, and remarkably enough, the boil-steam system will allow you to cook up your store-bought peas deliciously green, sweet, and tender. This is the method of my old French chef and maitre Max Bugnard, and I have always used it with great success. For


Creamed Onions
Creamed onions go beautifully with roast chicken or turkey, and this is a particularly succulent way to do them. When the preceding onions are just tender, fold in ¥J to 3,t4 cup of heavy cream and simmer several minutes, until thickened, basting several times with the cream. Correct seasoning, and fold, if you wish, with minced parsley.

To Peel Onions
When you have a lot of onions that need neat peeling, especially the small white ones used for creamed onions and a number of other dishes, here's the easy way. Drop them into a pan of boiling water for exactly 1 minute; remove with a slotted spoon. Shave off the root and stem ends, keeping the onion layers attached at the root. Slip off the skins, and pierce a cross Y8 inch deep in the root ends to help prevent bursting.

4 to 6 servings

Broom-Braised Onions
These would go with braised beef, coq au vin, or in any dish where a white braised onion would look inappropriately stark. In a pan just roomy enough to hold them in one layer, saute the peeled onions in a little clarified butter or oil, swirling the pan to turn them; they will not brown evenly, but will take on a decent amount of color. Then add chicken broth (and, if you wish, a little red wine) to come halfway up. Season lightly with salt and perhaps a bay leaf or a pinch of dried herbs. Cover and simmer slowly 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are tender when pierced but still hold their shape.

2 pounds fresh peas (about 3 cups shelled) % tsp salt 1 Tbs, more or less, sugar (see note at end of recipe) % cup minced scallions (white part and tender green) 2 or more Tbs butter, optional but desirable Water, as needed Place the peas in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the salt, Y2 tablespoon of the sugar, scallions, and optional butter. Mash the peas roughly with a rubber spatula to bruise them and work a bit of the other ingredients into their skins-you do not have to be rough, but you should bruise the peas slightly. Add water barely to cover the peas, put a lid on the pan, and bring to the full boil. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or more, until the peas are tender (adding driblets of water if necessary to prevent them

Boil-steaming. Place the onions in the pan, add water or chicken stock to come halfway up the onions, and salt lightly; add the optional bay leaf and butter. Cover the pan and simmer slowly 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are tender when pierced but still hold their shape-be careful to cook them slowly so they will not burst. Serving suggestions. These are usually called for as part of another recipe. But to serve them as is, boil down


Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Stuffed mushrooms could well be a first course-always difficult to think of something new and different for that. Or they could be part of an elegant vegetable garnish or vegetable platter. Although you may use any filling you wish, this is a sensible one since the chopped stems plus wine and seasonings fill the caps. For 6 large mushrooms 1fz cup mushroom duxelles made
with the stems (see Special Note on page 314), or another stuffing of your choice 2 to 3 Tbs heavy cream 2 to 3 Tbs crumbs from fresh white bread A big pinch of dried tarragon Salt and freshly ground pepper 6 mushrooms 3% inches across, stemmed 2 to 3 Tbs clarified butter (page 139) or clear melted butter 2 Tbs finely grated Swiss cheese

Sauteed Mushrooms
Sauteed mushrooms with omelettes, in chicken stews and beef ragoutssauteed mushrooms go almost everywhere. An important point here is to saute them so their juices do not exude, which is mostly a matter of high heat and not too many mushrooms in the pan at once. For 2 to 211z cups of sliced or quartered mushrooms
1 Tbs butter 1 tsp light olive oil or cooking oil 6 cups fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed, dried, and quartered or sliced V2 Tbs chopped shallot or scallion Salt and freshly ground pepper


Sauteed Mushrooms, Persillade
With bread crumbs, garlic, and parsley

When sauteed with garlic and parsley, mushrooms take on a distinctly new personality. Serve them with small roast or broiled birds, lamb chops, omelettes, or fried eggs. Saute the mushrooms as directed in the preceding master recipe. When they are done and almost beginning to brown, toss them with Yzcup of fresh white bread crumbs, sauteing for a good moment more. Then toss with a large clove of minced garlic and a handful of chopped parsley.

A 1O-inchfrying pan, preferably nostick Set the frying pan over high heat with the butter and oil. When the butter foam begins to subside, toss in the mushrooms. Toss frequently, swirling the pan by its handle, for several minutes, while the mushrooms absorb the butter. In a minute or two it reappears on their surface; toss with the chopped shallot or scallion a moment or two more if you wish them to brown lightly. Toss with a sprinkling of salt and grinds of fresh pepper. If they are to be part of a vegetable garnish, the sooner you serve them, the better.



Fluted Mushroom Caps
Hold a mushroom cap upright in your left hand. Grip a small, sharp knife tightly in your right hand with your right thumb resting on the cap, as illustrated. Rotate the mushroom toward you, starting at its crown; the mushroom cuts itself against the tightly held knife, making shallow grooves in the cap.

Assembling. Blend the duxelles in a bowl with the cream; add enough bread crumbs to make a mass that will hold its shape softly in a spoon. Season nicely to taste with tarragon, salt, and pepper. Brush the caps with butter, and spoon the stuffing into the cavities. Spread a pinch of grated cheese over the stuffing, and arrange the mushrooms in the baking dish.

'*'Ahead-oj-time note; May be prepared in advance to this point.
Baking. About 20 minutes before serving, bake in the upper middle level of a preheated 400°F oven, just until the caps are tender when pierced with a small knife.

Fluting mushrooms






« with flair: Flambeing is fun for guests and cooks alike, but it is embarrassing for everyone when the steak Diane won't sear, or the crepes won't flame, and things just splutter along. I've run into a peck of troubles here and there, having had to flambe live in public and on the TV. These are my ground rules:
The heat source. If you are really cooking something, like a steak, or bananas, or orange butter, you must have a strong heat source. A small alcohol wick is of no use at all-you

To fi amb

need a butane gas flame, or a widemouthed container filled to the brim with Sterno.
Hot food. When it comes time to

catch any spills and/or flaming particles.
Never pour from the bottle. Flames can leap up the stream of alcohol and right into the bottle-which can then explode! It has happened. Always pour from bottle into ladle, and from ladle into chafing dish. Secret practice. Try it out several times on your family so that you will be at ease, and can set your own particular style before your first public performance. Aim for fun and informal but high drama-bring out a little of your own elegant native ham.

flambe, be sure the food is bubbling hot or the liqueur won't light. If you have any qualms, heat the liqueur first in a separate little pan and then pour it in. Or heat the liqueur, flambe it in its pan, then pour it flaming over the food.
Protecting the table. You don't need

a fire extinguisher around when you are Hambeing, but it is a good idea to set the apparatus on a large tray to

The flaming finale. When all are

done, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the crepes. Pour a good 1;3 cup of Cognac from the bottle into the ladle, then over the crepes-never pour from bottle to pan; it's dangerous! Ladle on 1;3 cup of orange liqueur, and let bubble up for several seconds. Tilt the pan into the flame (or ignite with a flaming match) and, dramatically from on high, spoon the flaming liquid over the crepes for a minute or so, and serve.

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