Maybe it’s because school’s out.

Maybe it’s because we start a new month on Monday.

Maybe it’s because there’s thawed chicken in the fridge waiting to be cooked.

But if you really need a reason to cook something fancy today … it’s National Coq Au Vin Day!

Pronounced “coke-aw-van”, it’s a unique French dish, made with braised chicken cooked with wine, salt pork, mushrooms and garlic. A French staple, it translates to “rooster with wine.” It’s a rustic, peasant-style dish that is easy to serve when entertaining because a lot of the work can be done in advance.

Different legends tell of Coq au vin back in the days of Gaul and Julius Caesar. However, the first documented recipe was in the early 20th century.  There was a somewhat similar recipe, poulet au vin blanc, that appeared in an 1864 cookbook. There are more modern recipes, including this one that includes bacon and served with potatoes or over egg noodles (Hungry yet?).