1/9/14

Julia Child helps me prepare "The Last Supper"...

Today, is prep day #1 for my scheduled colonoscopy tomorrow.  Yuck!!!  I have slowly cut out things during the course of the week:  supplements, vitamins, fruit, vegetables, bran - you know, all the good stuff that keeps me ticking.  Well today is clear liquids only which ought to be a really grand old time. 

In preparation for two days of not eating any solids, I decided I needed a comfort meal for my last supper.  It had been a year since I had made Julia Child's recipe for the French Coq qu Vin (rooster cooked in wine).  Or in the case of America and what one can buy at the grocery store (chicken cooked in wine).  I've made various versions of Coq qu Vin over the years, some better than others.  I went with this one (same I used last year) from the website at Leite's Culinara.  It's real comfort food stuff.

I went into the history of the dish a bit before on this blog, but will spare you the details today.  I will mention that what was a peasant meal in origin, cost me $104 yesterday due to my finicky selection of ingredients (Amish chicken thighs, fresh French Baguettes, organic carrot and pearl onions, a tube of Italian Tomato Paste, my favorite beef stock, two carefully selected bottles of French wine $$, a bottle of Couvoisseur $$, the perfect thick and fatty bacon purchase from the butcher, beautiful dark mushrooms, al dente egg noodles for my daughter and her friend who prefer it that way, and a nice Brie for an appetizer that had just a hint of a mushroom after taste - YUM!).  Yes, I could have done it for half that price, but c'est la vie

All the bounty lined up on the counter before I go into full cook mode with much love and care while talking to my ingredients of course....

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The girls peeled the pearl onions, and I did everything else without any panic as there was plenty of time to get the meal prepared.  We nibbled on the cheese and bread which was tricky for me while dealing with raw chicken.  I think I managed to wash my hands between touching everything, but hey - you never know.  Nobody got sick, so I assume I did manage to wash when needed.

The recipe at the link above does not call for a carrot, but I put the carrot and a couple of stalks of celery in just to stew it up a bit.  Not to worry, I'm pretty sure I will digest the carrots and celery in time for my procedure on Friday.  The egg noodles are also not part of it, but my daughter claims she gets to eat this dish at college every now and then and they serve it with egg noodles.  Several comments made by people under the Julia Child recipe at Leite's Culinara also mention egg noodles to serve the Coq au Vin over. What the heck, I gave in to try it.  I only cooked about 1/2 of the bag of noodles.   After eating a few of the noodles with my helping last night I can vouch for my tastes - they are absolutely not needed.  Lopping up the gravy with fresh baguette is much better IMO.

I started with 12 thighs (even though I prefer leg quarters, the store didn't have any in stock) and the 4 of us dining managed to eat 7 of them.  Here are the leftovers which will be kept and warmed up Friday night to watch the Richard Tucker Gala on TV... (provided I'm feeling up to eating after the procedure)....

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Needless to say, it was a delicious and very tasty meal from start to end.  My daughter said my version blows the version she eats at college out of the water.  Well, that's probably not saying much, but I'm glad she liked it.  It was just the sort of comfort food I needed before heading into today's clear liquid diet and tonight's cleanse

Too bad my scheduled time on Friday for the colonoscopy is not until 1:40 PM because that means more than half the day on Friday I still won't be able to eat.   The risk of dehydration increases, so I will be taking care to avoid that and stay close to the porcelain.  I spent the better part of last night reading up on the procedure, the risks, the methods, case studies and what not.  Dang!!!  I think I would have been better off not reading everything about it.  Still, if all goes well then I should be able to go another 10 years before the next procedure.  Movember on and all that good stuff, right?

I will fuel with broth, sports drink, juice, etc.. and try to get enough calories today to do my scheduled workout (Zone 4 goodness intervals today).  That increases the dehydration risk, but I hope to have the workout and recovery beverages all complete before I drink the first dreaded milkshake of cleanse this evening.... 

If you've never made Coq au Vin, give Julia's recipe a try at this link.  It's a really simple recipe to follow and the dish couldn't be easier to cook.  The smells are wonderful and the taste is oh so comforting and delicious!!!

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