French cuisine is known for its elegance, refinement, and attention to detail. It has been highly influenced by the cooking techniques of the aristocratic French court during the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as by the regional cuisines of various provinces. Classic French dishes often feature rich and flavourful ingredients such as butter, cream, wine, and cheese. Some popular dishes include beef bourguignon, coq au vin, ratatouille, croissants, quiche Lorraine, and bouillabaisse. French cuisine is also famous for its pastry and dessert offerings, such as crème brûlée, tarte Tatin, and macarons.
Here is a classic recipe for one of the most famous French dishes, coq au vin:
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the bacon fat over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
- Add the tomato paste and flour to the vegetables, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the red wine and chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Add the bacon and chicken back to the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and keep it warm.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce by half, stirring occasionally.
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the butter until melted.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.
Enjoy this classic French dish with a glass of red wine and some crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce!