Adventures with Coq A Vin

Last night I made Ina Garten’s Coq A Vin. It was the recipe from Food Network and the first one that popped up on Google. I have actually been planning to make this for awhile now and had all of the ingredients on hand. I am not a drinker. Alcohol hurts my stomach and red wine typically gives me a migraine with just a couple of sips. But, as a baker and cook I have some alcohol on hand for different recipes. Brandy, Ameretto, Grand Marnier, but I don’t usually have wine. A couple of months ago when I started thinking about making this I was at Walmart and decided to buy a bottle of wine for this dish. This is big folks because I know it has been a couple of years since we could buy wine in grocery stores (not before noon on Sunday though) but I really hadn’t done that before. I took my bottle of wine proudly to the front of the store with the rest of my groceries to the one checkstand that was open.The girl checking my groceries was very sweet but she was not 18 so she had to call a manager…who was stuck at the self checkout and could not come over. We waited as the line got longer and the person behind me got more annoyed. So to save the sweet checker some hassle from the frustrated people behind me I decided not to get the wine. Was it a sign?

The plan for Coq A Vin was shoved to the back burner for a bit until one day my daughter and I ran into Aldi for a few things. Aldi sells wine! And Aldi and Trader Joes have the same owner so their wine is probably the same Two Buck Chuck as the wine friends in California would buy. I picked up a bottle of Winking Owl because it was red, it was cute, and it was five bucks. The plans for Coq A Vin were back on.

Here we are several weeks later and I, along with everyone else in the world, have all the time I need for a recipe that doesn’t take twenty minutes start to finish. I pulled out all of my ingredients, I chopped bacon and onions. I measured out brandy and chicken stock…I tried to open the wine. I am positive I have a wine bottle opener in my house somewhere. I have used it. I am pretty sure I bought it at Publix several years ago. Do you think I can find it? Nope. The first time I tried to open wine it was with a corn cob nob. It didn’t go well. My son has a multi tool though with a corkscrew included. Yay! I thought I was saved! I could not get that cork out to save my life. I gave it to my hubs who yanked and pulled and could not free the cork. I ended up getting a spatula and shoving the cork down into the bottle. I may or may not have discovered wine on my forehead later that evening…

I think the most difficult part of this was browning the chicken..and opening the wine. I didn’t let the chicken brown all of the way so it wasn’t crispy but that didn’t seem to matter to my family. They actually really liked it . The flavor was acceptable to everyone and the chicken was cooked perfectly…if not crispy. I threw some Birdseye steamed veggies in the microwave to finish off the meal. Overall a delicious meal that I will probably make again!

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