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You don't have to be French to celebrate International Coq Au Vin Day

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International Coq Au Vin Day is celebrated on May 29. You don't have to be French to celebrate that meat. Coq Au Vin is French for “rooster with wine." It is a popular dish made with braised chicken that is slowly cooked with red wine, mushrooms, pork fat, and various spices. While the wine used is typically burgundy, many regions of France have variants of Coq Au Vin using the local wine.

According to some legends, Coq Au Vin has ties to Julius Caesar or Napoleon, but most historians agree that the dish has more humble roots.Various legends trace Coq Au Vin to ancient Gaul and Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century. It is generally accepted that it existed as a rustic dish long before that. A somewhat similar recipe, poulet au vin blanc, appeared in an 1864 cookbook. Roosters are only butchered when they are quite old and rather inedible. Peasant families most likely invented the Coq Au Vin recipe to avoid wasting the meat.

Coq Au Vin became popular in the United States thanks to Julia Child, who featured the dish in her cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It also appeared many times on her television show "The French Chef." Today, Coq Au Vin is a popular dish in many French restaurants, but it is also a fabulous dish to cook at home.

To celebrate International Coq Au Vin Day, go to your favorite French restaurant or plan a dinner party and invite friends to share the meal with you.