Cruising World - - Underway -

Coq au vin — rooster (or chicken) in wine — is one of my fa­vorite dishes, both ashore and aboard our 60-year-old wood cut­ter, Opus. It’s a French-coun­try-cook­ing sort of dish that feels like a spe­cial meal, and it’s per­fect ei­ther for guests or as sim­ple com­fort food. It’s a one-pot meal. Left­overs keep well, re­frig­er­ated, for a day or so af­ter cook­ing, and are just as tasty the next day. The ba­sic in­gre­di­ents are read­ily avail­able al­most any­where, and it’s bud­get-friendly. Oh, and did I men­tion it’s sim­ple to make?

Orig­i­nally, coq au vin came from the prac­ti­cal ne­ces­sity of us­ing what you had on hand (an­other bonus for cruis­ing cooks). Most French farm­houses back then had a rooster. The rooster meat was typ­i­cally tougher than the hens’, but it re­sponded beau­ti­fully to brais­ing, es­pe­cially with a slightly acidic brais­ing liq­uid (wine!).

Like most pleas­ant, fla­vor­ful peas­ant dishes, it can in­clude what you have on hand, so if you don’t have a spe­cific item in the recipe, don’t give up — im­pro­vise! (See “In­gre­di­ent Hacks,” be­low). Bon ap­pétit! — Jean Kerr

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