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Old 09-18-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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Help with Flambe?

I am making Coq au vin this weekend for the first time, and the recipe calls for me to pour some brandy over the chicken in its dutch oven, and then to light it on fire. (flambe)

I am not too worried about this, and am reasonably confident about being able to cover the pot quickly if the fire gets out of control.

My concern is my building's fire detection system. I live in a fairly modern condominium, built just 4 or 5 years ago. How do the fire detection systems work in these buildings?

What I don't want to have happen is for the fire alarm to go off automatically, just because there's a little fire in the pot (which is what's supposed to happen) and for the fire department to be called, but honestly, I have no idea where the fire detector is, or how it works.

What do you guys think? I'm cooking with a date, and I don't think I want our date interrupted by a fire alarm, not to mention having to explain to the fire department why I disrupted the whole building. That may kill the romance :)

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Old 09-18-2008, 07:59 PM   #2
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I wouldn't risk it...just me. Others might feel different, but I wouldn't risk it...especially if you are not keen on how the fire suppression system works.

And it is a flambe because it is a FLAME, depending on the booze, and the amount of heat the pan is retaining, you could get anything from a lil ol wispy blue flame, to a take your eyebrows off whoosh of a fire ball.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonr
What do you guys think?
I think like Tattrat....I don't think I would try it this time out...Gain some experience flambing so you will know what to expect. 1/2 cup of 100 proof booze in a very hot pan can be very dramatic to say the least. Learn and understand the fire detection system....The lady probably want be impressed with a couple of firemen knocking on da door....You can get the brandy into the dish without flambe. Take it off the heat for a few minutes...then add slowly without igniting. IMO...You want know the difference.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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As Uncle Bob said, add the brandy without igniting it. Simmer the pot uncovered for a bit to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate.

Another option is to flambe it out on a balcony if one is available.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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Well I can go onto the building's patio, I suppose. Warm up the oil, run to the elevator, up 9 floors, and then out onto the patio. Not the greatest, but maybe I have no choice. Not flambeing is not an option. You do it right, or not at all.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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The flaming of the brandy in the pot is not critical. The point is to get the brandy flavor into the pot. The flambe is just to get rid of the unwanted alcohol.

As another option, you could flambe some brandy then add the residue to the pot.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:05 PM   #7
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But I promised her fire :)
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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they make creams for that...



j/k





seriously, better to error on the side of better judgment...and even if there is no flame involved, the flavor will still be there. Flambe is solely for ohhhhs and ahhhhhs, that's really about it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr View Post
But I promised her fire :)

Cook the dish at her place.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:01 PM   #10
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I agree with Tattrat - look up the definition of flambé in French ... it's a flashy finish. Add your brandy to your pot and let it simmer uncovered for about 5-7 minutes - you will accomplish the same thing as the flambé: it will add the flavor of the brandy to the dish, it will cook off the raw alcohol flavor, and it will reduce the alcohol content about the same amount as a flambé.

Since you live in an upscale place with high-tech fire detectors - I'm sure your stove has a good exhaust vent over the stove. Put your pot in the middle of the stovetop, turn the exhaust vent on high, add your brandy and light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
Not flambeing is not an option. You do it right, or not at all.
I've made Coq au Vin many times and never did a flambé. I was using French recipes - they didn't call for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
But I promised her fire :)
Try a couple of nice candles on the table.
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