Photo: Erik R. Trinidad
If you're a hungry carnivore spending any amount of time in the Carolinas, you will undoubtedly be stuffing your face with signature dishes like Carolina pulled pork or deliciously greasy fried chicken. And while you may enjoy an ice cold Carolina Pale Ale with your meal, the most cheerful way to wash it all down is with a nice glass of Carolina-born Cheerwine.
For all you Yankees who aren't privy to this sweet southern concoction, Cheerwine is a sweet and bubbly cherry soda unlike any other, with a deep burgundy color resembling a fine Pinot Noir. It's a popular soft drink in the south that is more "cheer" than "wine" (and more "cherry" than "cheer"), but we're going to pretend it's Pinot -- it looks like wine when you pour it into fancy stemware anyway.
Read on about Cheerwine and find the Fancy Fast Food "recipe" for Coq Au CheerVin after the jump...
What better way to pair a Carolina dish with Carolina Cheerwine than to fuse them together in a mock recipe for coq au vin -- the French dish where chicken is braised in red wine? And so, we present the Fancy Fast Food recipe for "Coq Au CheerVin" (pronounced kohk oh sheer vaehn' if you want to sound all Frenchy):
Ingredients (from N.C.-based fried chicken chain Bojangles')
- 1 two-piece Fried Chicken Dinner (leg & thigh) with:
- 1 biscuit
- 1 side of cole slaw
- 1 side of dirty rice
- 1 side of green beans
- 1 large Cheerwine
- packets of salt, pepper and hot sauce
First, let's get the pretend-Pinot Noir Cheerwine simmering; pour the liquid in a saucepan -- saving some to pair with your meal -- and bring it to a boil. In lieu of the unavailable ingredients for a proper coq au vin (mushrooms, onions, lardons), we are going to spice our stew with packets of salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
Next, slice the biscuit in half, and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees until it becomes hard and crusty, like your grandpa who's still mad at General Sherman. Let it cool before pulverizing it down into bread crumbs with a blender or food processor. We will use this to coat our chicken pieces as well as add a little thickness to the stew since it is entirely made of starch and fat.
Skin the two pieces of chicken, and then bread them with the breadcrumbs in a big mixing bowl. Once they are coated, drop them into the saucepan and let them stew for a while, until the meat absorbs all of the red cheery and cherry goodness.
In the meantime, rinse the cole slaw and add it to the dirty rice so you can stop referring to it as "dirty," and start calling it rice pilaf. Arrange the cut green beans on a plate back into the form of the whole string beans they came from, and only refer to them as haricots verts from now on.
Finally, plate your fancy dish: add the "Coq Au CheerVin" chicken pieces to the pilaf and haricots verts, along with some sauce. And remember to pour some of the remaining CheerVin in a wine glass... clink! Finally something a little classy to serve during that next Carolina/Duke game!
Erik R. Trinidad -- who is not a trained chef but enjoys recreational cooking -- is the creator of Fancy Fast Food, where fast food goes through an extreme makeover without the use of any additional ingredients (other than an occasional garnish). This is his seventh post for Slashfood. Check out his travel blog at TheGlobalTrip.com, plus more mock recipes and videos at FancyFastFood.com.