Recipe Remake: Betty Crocker Coq au Vin
This week I went and got all fancy on y’all. Remember on Monday how I said I’d have a use for those chick’n seitan cutlets? Well, this is it – a rooster-less Coq au Vin straight outta Betty Crocker’s wedding cookbook. Before I went vegan I adored this cookbook and you can tell by the many bent and stained pages that it was well-loved. In fact, this is the cookbook that even introduced me to black bean burgers (though I use to make them with eggs).
Even though I don’t follow the recipes in the cookbook strictly anymore, I do like to use it as a reference and inspiration. As I was thinking about things I’d like to veganized, I remembered a delicious version of Coq au Vin that I had on my Mediterranean cruise about five or so years ago. I wasn’t vegan or even vegetarian at the time, so most of the meals I had on the cruise were full of animal products, however, the flavors were so well-developed that I go back to them often when creating my vegan meals at home.
This recipe uses a bouquet garni, which is a fancy term for a spice packet. This little pouch can be made using some cheesecloth or even a tea ball and then filling it with a 1/2 tsp Thyme, 1 tsp fresh Parlsey, and a Bay Leaf*. This bundle of flavor is an easy way to infuse a freshness to this dish that can sometimes seem heavy.
Though this dish takes a little while to come together, you can save some time by preparing the seitan cutlets the day/night before or early the morning of. If you have that part done, the rest is a lot of hands-off cooking time. You could even make this in a slow cooker – if you decide to do it that way let me know how long you let it cook for.
I ended up using jarred pearl onions, but you can use frozen and it will cook and taste the same. Also, I used button mushrooms, but you can use whichever kind you like most. Overall this dish has complex and deep flavors that I’ve not experienced in a long time. It’s also a crowd-pleaser: even my five-year-old went back for seconds.
This would make a perfectly romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for your sweetheart or you could make a double recipe in the crockpot for a potluck or other gathering where you want to go beyond the norm and really surprise people. I love this dish and will be putting it in my rotation for special occasions.
What do you plan on making for your sweetheart (or for your friends) this Valentine’s Day?