The weather is miserable -- all rain, and wind, and mindnumbing greyness. What a perfect day for comfort food.
More precisely, this is the kind of weather that suits, nay, demands, a braise, and my wife and I are only too happy to oblige. But what to braise? Over the past couple of months we've enjoyed braises of all sorts, from boar to short ribs, but never chicken; we've also eaten a lot of Italian, but not a lot of French. A braised, French chicken dish? Sounds like as good a place as any to start, doesn't it?
Let's face it, if you're going to make such a dish, there really is a standard: coq au vin. Throw a cookbook challenge into this mix, and the recipe for said coq au vin can come only from one source: the grande dame of French cuisine in North America, Julia Child, and perhaps the most important English-language cookbook of all time, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.