I broke down and spent some christmas dough. We went to omaha yesterday to exchange some things that wife had bought for me (which, by the way was a total loss because the JCrew store in omaha stopped carrying men's clothing!?!). We did make a couple of extra stops at whole foods and sur la table. oh, and also world market, which I had never been to. I picked up an oval "Coq au vin" pot made by staub. It was 50% off! I couldn't believe it. It is the yellow one in the picture on the left. The picture to the right is my new pot and pan setup perfected by wife. There was some serious organization going on yesterday (by her, not me:).
speaking of what do you use a "Coq au Vin" pot for, it has come to my attention that there are people out there wondering just what to cook in a dutch oven. Well, I guess my answer to that would be, "Lots of stuff." I use mine for soups, stews, risottos, curries, roasts, etc. The main thing I do with them is braise. you cannot beat the performance of these for braising something. here's your do:
take a whole chicken and cut it up into six pieces (you can also buy a cut up chicken if you are not hip to the breaking down of whole birds). Season how you like (I like salt and peps, lemon zest, some herbage, and maybe some minced garlic) and brown in olive oil (in your dutch oven of course). you're using medium-low heat right? you bet you are! after browning, remove chicken pieces and set aside. (do not let the bottom of the pan burn, that means you have the heat too high. you want a nice golden brown color on the bottom, this is called "fond" and adds lots of flavor to your final product) at this point, I usually add some diced onion and whole garlic cloves, diced celery, and a bit more olive oil. let these soften, then deglaze (pour liquid into hot pan, scraping up the browned tasties) your pot with your choice of liquid. I would use something other than water, like stock/broth, beer, wine, vermouth, etc. then add the rest of the veg you want in there. I would recommend some of these: carrots, potatoes, celery root, turnips, parsnips, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. season your veg liberally with salt and peps, and then add your chicken pieces back on top. liquid should come up 3/4 of the way, so supplement if it does not. throw this into a 350 F oven for about 1-1.5 hours and grab a chair, you'll need to sit down after the flavor explosion.
ps. you can separate the broth from the finished product and thicken it up with a roux or cornstarch slurry, if you'd like. sometimes I do, if I am feeling like more of a gravy than a broth.
Staub "Coq au Vin" 6 qt. Oval dutch oven. Sur La Table. Omaha, Ne. 135 clams. 50% off. Where are you going to find another deal like this??? Nowhere! so get out there and get one!