Tomorrow -- Friday, May 29 -- is National Coq au Vin Day! The Food Lover's Companion describes this classic French dish as "pieces of chicken, mushroom, onions, bacon or salt pork, and various herbs cooked together with red wine."
One of the finest versions of Coq au Vin (pronounced coke-oh-vahn) that I've tasted in Kansas City is served at Cafe Provence in Prairie Village. But when the menu was last tweaked, by chef-owner Patrick Quillec and his brother Daniel, the noted chicken dish was taken off the menu.
But wait! It's coming back! I caught up with Patrick Quillec (I had last interviewed him for Fat City last January) by phone today: he's flying back and forth between San Diego (where he's both cooking and consulting for a French brasserie) and Las Vegas, where he's consulting for a restaurant group getting ready to open a new concept, he said, "with a hip, modern cuisine."
But back to the bird: Quillec said the dish was taken off the Cafe Provence menu for the Spring menu, but now that his son Phillip is back from Argentina and working in the tiny Cafe Provence kitchen with Daniel Quillec, they agreed it was time to return Coq au Vin to its place of glory and fans will see it back on the menu by June 5th.
Quillec insists that the dish can't be cooked in just any red wine. He prefers Burgundy. "You can't use Red Zinfandel or a Cabernet -- they're too strong and will overpower the rest of the dish."
(Image via Flickr: norecipes)