who killed coq Aubin?



There are but a few bottles that remain untouched from my wine cellars of yesteryear. I am miserly with them but there is a limit to the wisdom of such miserliness when the object of one’s affection has a finite life span. Had the remaining wine in question been an outstanding grand cru, still in its pomp and with many more years of life left in it, then it would still be reclining on its rack where I could admire and fondle it to my miserly heart’s delight..but it wasn’t. What it was was a very good wine, a 1999 Saint Aubin “Les Castets” Hubert Lamy which had been more than a little compromised by being moved from pillar to post, and indeed from country to country, since it’s purchase in London in 2000, but it wasn’t , by any stretch of the imagination, an “intouchable”.st.aubin_112758 Last weekend I was contemplating what I should  cook for a family lunch to celebrate the beginning of another year of my life. In my case, such contemplation revolves around the bookshelves. Glass of wine in hand, I glance along the spines of old favourites occasionally plucking one out and flicking through the pages to see if some memory is resurrected, some new enthusiasm kindled. The monumental “Ripailles” by Stéphane Reynaud, with its upholstered cover and silk ribbon page marker, is a book that gives me pleasure just to hold in my hands and through whose pages I never tire of rummaging. On this occasion my eye was caught by the words “coq au Chambertin”. Not coq au vin but, gloriously, coq au Chambertin. There is a group of stellar wines, all astronomically priced, that include the word Chambertin in their nomenclature, such as Gevrey-Chambertin, of which the simple Chambertin is not a member: although the right one can be a very good wine indeed. My Saint Aubin was certainly its equal and so the die was cast. Coq au Saint Aubin would be dinner. There are many and varied recipes for coq au vin, and I have tried a fair proportion of them with varied degrees of success. For some reason I had never tried Stéphane Reynaud’s and I can assure you that it is the one that I will contrive to use henceforth. Simplicity in the wording and layout of a recipe seduces me unfailingly. I am aware that there is often the necessity for wordy recipes that involve a series of complicated and appetite reducing operations and like Odysseus, the well known mutton chef*, I remain deaf to their Siren song. Let others graft while I groove.
(*could “mutton chef” be the origin of the rhyming slang ” Mutt and Jeff” for “deaf”)
This is the recipe from the wonderful “Ripailles” by Stephane Reynaud. If you haven’t got the book, get it.

coq au chambertin


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, Art photography, Chicken, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Drinks, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Photography, Poultry, Stephane Reynaud, Uncategorized, wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to who killed coq Aubin?

  1. Roger Goodacre says:

    Mutt & Jeff are the names, often amusing, given by MI5 during the war to two double agents.
    Just saying ‘Coq Aubin’ suggests you may have had one too many, but given the alcohol content I’m sure you must have had a merry time. Bon anniversaire.

  2. MELewis says:

    Seems a shame to sacrifice a good bottle to the coq…but oh, well, at least he had a good send off. Hope your birthday was stupendous and wishing you many more!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    It was Walter Potter that did it for Coq Robin (or one of them). That’s a lovely looking dish – I hope you drank the Saint Aubin and cooked the coq in a cheaper burgundy 😉

    • There are a multitude of Cock Robin jokes that I resisted…”no knob jokes” I kept telling myself. In fact I did cook the little sucker in the Saint Aubin and drank a much cheaper wine..which was delicious. Since my financial situation has ended my relationship with fine wines I’ve found that my palate is quite happy in the gutter:)

      • Mad Dog says:

        Ha ha – it’s not like you to avoid the innuendo.
        I think your palate is much happier in France, where the decent wine is a lot cheaper than London 😉

  4. Serena says:

    Stunning…just stunning…

  5. Angeline M says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen rooster in our California podunk town’s supermarkets; I’d have to go down the road and steal one from a neighboring farm. I think it best to use a hen in my circumstances. The recipe sounds and looks delicious. Salud to another year of life…and any kind of wine you can get your hands on.

  6. The photography is gorgeous, of course, but I NEED that plate!

  7. A fitting tribute to your cock (no innuendo!) and the celebration of a birthday – you are a Monsieur with great style!

  8. Sounds like belated Happy Birthday wishes are in order – may you have a fantastic year!!!!

  9. Eha says:

    Since somehow I seem to have gotten myself into the same situation as you just have to copy another phrase of yours: ‘ . . . my palate is quite happy in the gutter’ . . . . well, one can pretend, can’t one . . . . and if one is still working on the computer upon the midnight clear it is quite amazing what some on-line firms will toss out around that time ‘to make room’!! For peanuts: have peanuts 😀 !!

  10. Eha says:

    Oops’a’daisy . . . a huge ‘Happy Birthday’ after the event: does that make you an Aquarian??

  11. Sally says:

    Oh for a stewing rooster and a spare couple of bottles of Burgundy. Sublime Roger – happy birthday ( I opened – and drank rather than cooked with – a lovely bottle of Barolo for mine last week).

  12. Wonderful use of good wine 🙂 and I’m with you, straightforward recipes are underrated.

  13. Happiest belated birthday wishes, Roger!

  14. Well it sounds as if you had a lovely celebration and Happy Birthday to you; It’s much easier to find a great wine here than a Rooster…

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