Rooted friend, Janie Plath, a fifth-generation Gilbert from the Yakima Valley, frequently gathers friends and family at her home for delicious creations and celebrations. No doubt she channels her great-grandmother, Marion Richey Gilbert while “promoting good conversation around the dining room table”. This week, she gives thanks to our valley’s generous seasonal offerings while savoring warm friendship over a rich and nostalgic one-pot meal, coq au vin. Should you wish to mix things up this Thanksgiving, and veer from the traditional whole bird and sides, consider this one-pot approach for the big meal.  – Aileen Monahan


Great-grandmother Gilbert

recipe-bookDuring one of my attempts at finishing college I picked up my first Silver Palate Good Time Cookbook. My sister and sister-in-law were here in Yakima cooking wildly with it, and my-oh-my, were those fun times and tasty meals! Being far away this book gave me a little taste of home … and also impressed my roommates!

Always enamored with French cooking, (my mother being a BIG fan of the Grand Dam, Julia Child), my cousins, the de La Chapelles, always made dining an event! “Gigi”, “American in Paris”, “French Kiss”, “Chocolate”, all movies set in France. The language itself admired but never mastered by this cooking cowgirl. Through the music, the art, the history … the French culture and lifestyle hold a certain romantic mist and attitude that intrigues me. Thus their chapter, “American in Paris”, caught my eye.

janie_checkingCoq au vin was simple: a warm presentation and delicious! Though not to be made for immediate consumption it needs a day or so to infuse and saturate flavors. Much of the vegetables come from local produce here at Wray’s Thriftway. The coq, or in this case, chicken, is from Washington State, of course!

As I prepared this dish again this past Sunday, using my third copy of Silver Palate, I thought how very blessed I am to be making this to share with dearest friends! Even though rather damp … how gorgeous this season has been! And how easy this here blog, rooted has made it to appreciate all the great and beautiful offerings right here in the Yakima and lower valley, (… hmmm almost like Loire Valley! coincidence?)!

C’est Bien!  J’aime la vall’ee YAKIMA! Tu es belle!


Coq au Vin
(“Rooster in Wine”) from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook
makes 8 portions

10 slices thick bacon diced (I prefer Fletcher’s pepper bacon)

2 chicken (2.5-3 lbs. each) quartered

16 small pearl or purple onions peeled

6 scallions (white and green parts) sliced

1 head garlic cloves separated and peeled

1 lb. mushrooms cleaned and quartered

3 tbsp. flour

3 cups St. Julien Bordeaux or ANY red from Gilbert Cellars!

1 cup Homemade chicken stock or in a pinch canned is fine

1 plus teasp. dried thyme

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

16 small new potatoes

12 baby carrots or 12 oz. peeled and sliced

chopped fresh parsley


1) One day before serving, fry bacon in a large Dutch oven until crisp.

Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, reserve. Brown the chicken pieces in batches in hot bacon fat. Even though it’s a “chicken dish” any great meal we KNOW revolves around the bacon! Set chicken aside.

2) Add onions, scallions and garlic to pan, sauté on medium high for 5 minutes ( are you smelling it all yet?) Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes more … being a fan I always go heavy on the ‘shrooms!  Chanterelles, Cremini, Shitakes whatever looks good in your local

3) Sprinkle flour over veggies and cook 1 minute. Slowly pour in wine ( reds from our AVA are great BUT… when cooking French, it adds to your ambiance! JUST promise me no Pinots!) Then add the broth, if not your homemade; Better Than Bouillon stock is very flavorful … uh, make sure you dilute first! Stir constantly. Season to taste with Thyme, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Add Chicken, bacon and potatoes. Distribute evenly. Cool completely then cover and refrigerate overnight … Go out to dinner this night at one of Yakima’s finest!

4) Next day set coq au vin to room temp. At least a hour.

5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6) Bake covered in oven for 1 hour. Stir in carrots & continue for another 50 minutes. Chicken should be falling off the bone, veggies tender!

7) Spoon coq au vin into large bowls or deep-dish plates, sprinkle with parsley, pour yourself another glass and voila’!!!


photo of Marion Richey Gilbert courtesy of The Washington Apple Education Foundation

Thank you Janie, for your sweet and delicious contribution to rooted! C’est si bon!

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