Aurevoir Aurélie.

Poule au Pinard.

The last in a series of epicurean farewells. Snowed in with 17” of snow  and temperamental gun toting DC Cops outside, a homely, hearty chicken based stew was de rigueur;  Coq au Vin.

Rooster or capon legs were not readily available so tremendous Amazon hen legs were halved and marinated in achingly sweet bargain basement “sangria” wine leftover from the Halloween pumpkin bladder along with vegetable and spiced aromatics for 4 days.

And on the 5th day the legs were seared in a cast iron Dutch oven with lard as were the drained aromatics. Tomato purée was then cooked until dry, a splash of white wine vinegar to deglaze, some flour for a thickening roux. Wine marinade was added to mixture, the meat was slipped in, brought to a barely a boil and placed uncovered in a 275F oven for a few hours.

Once tender, the legs were removed and the braising liquid strained then degreased. The delicate notes of vanilla and chocolate were comforting. Turned potatoes were blanched, fluted mushrooms simmered and an agrarian triptych backbone of carrots, celery and onion were sweated with lardons cut from a smoked pork jowl. All the elements were united in the Dutch oven, whole wheat bread sliced, slides shown and enjoyment all around.

Thick chick legs and wine were in for 2009.

Chicken coquetry: The bread served alongside should have been fried in clarified butter or schmaltz and if brandy were available it would have made a flamboyant appearance after the vinegar. The chicken was properly braised though during the searing process it leached much liquid and made for an uneven coloration and much splattering. Aurélie casually overlooked the above mentioned procedural errors and seemingly enjoyed it. She is loved tremendously and will be missed und metrische Scheißetonne.