It took a Coq Au Vin.

The recovery after having a child is tremendous. For me, physically there was so much that had changed and continued to change (hello constant sore boobs!). It took me about 4 months to start feeling like my old self again and it took another 3 before my hair finally stopped falling out.  Emotionally, I feel that the recovery is even longer.  Even now after almost a year, 95% of the days are awesome and make me feel like the luckiest person on earth. The other 5% sometimes feel purpose-less somehow.  It’s crazy I know and I wish I could explain it better! It isn’t sadness at all, but more of a question of “what now!?”.

Even on my awesome days the one thing that has suffered over and over (and over again) is my cooking.  In a nutshell, all this time since Arjun came along, I have completely lost interest in the kitchen. Thinking of what to feed my family has been a cause of lot of anxiety (which never existed before).  I will be the first to admit that on most nights the meal I prepare (if any) are pretty similar to the story about the dad who ate burned toast without complaining.  Nothing seems to come out right. I can’t meal plan. Everything tastes just okay. blah blah. Let’s just say that there has been a lot of peanut-butter-jelly sandwiches and cereal in our life. It makes me so sad!

BUT something happened after we got back from our New Orleans vacation! The spark seems to be back guys! There is no explanation for why I woke up on Sunday morning with a perfect meal plan for the rest of the week AND a grocery list in my head.  Later that evening I busted out my bright orange Le Creuset dutch oven and without even looking at a recipe, made a Coq au vin in a matter of minutes! Even the red wine I chose ended up being the perfect bottle! The meal was perfection! Arjun ate it like it was his business and Asha asked for seconds and thirds! My heart was singing by the end of it all.

So even though this isn’t an exact recipe per say, I just had to share it because I wan’t to remember this meal as the COME BACK meal!

Weeknight Coq au vin which also works wonders as pureed baby food! 


  • olive oil
  • chicken thighs and breasts (preferably bone-in but I only had skinless and boneless)
  • sweet potatoes
  • russet potatoes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • button mushrooms
  • garlic
  • raisins
  • salt, pepper
  • good red wine
  • fresh herb (I used fresh oregano…which my neighbor grows. I basically stepped out and called on neighbor’s daughter who was playing with Asha to see if she could break a sprig of rosemary from the bush in her yard. She came back with a big bunch of fresh oregano instead since they didn’t have rosemary anymore. I love my neighborhood!)

In a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pan, add two tablespoons olive oil and keep the heat medium-high. Season chicken with salt pepper and add to the hot pan. Once crust forms (this is when the chicken will pick up easily with the tongs instead of sticking to the pan) turn over and wait for the same on the other side.  Then add all the roughly chopped vegetables mentioned above at once with additional salt and pepper as needed.  After 5 minutes add red wine and let it boil.  Add raisins and fresh herb. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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