The rooster is the French national bird, an unofficial symbol of Gallic pride, virility and, well, cockiness. Does this make coq au vin the French national dish? Not necessarily, although it’s certainly a contender. Coq au vin is most often associated with Burgundy, although other regions — notably the Auvergne — also lay claim. Rustic fare, coq au vin has existed in one form or another for centuries. In the modern version, you may substitute a big free-range or organic chicken if a good rooster proves hard to find.
Some food historians date the creation of coq au vin back as far as Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. There may be something to this, for the Latin word gallus signifies both ‘rooster’ and ‘Gallic’. And indeed, if you look around in France, you will see roosters everywhere. In Burgundy, for example, not a cross but a rooster sits proudly on each church’s steeple.
I am offering you this superlative French dish in a spirit of celebration — in time for the holidays and in thanks for your interest and support. As of this week, The Everyday French Chef has received more than 10,000 views. I am very grateful to all my readers for supporting the site and giving me the opportunity to continue writing about two of my great pleasures in life — food and France. Happy cooking!