It’s somewhat difficult to provide a recipe for a book set in World War II Paris because, due to stringent rationing imposed by the Germans, the average Parisian didn’t get enough to eat. The countryside, however, was another matter, and it was considered a real stroke of luck when Parisians had country cousins they could visit – and perhaps dig a vegetable or two out of the family garden. It’s for that reason I decided to journey to Chateau Dolus, Fabienne’s family home, and although the chateau itself might be somewhat woebegone, its kitchens – and, of course, its wine cellar – are second to none.
In The Paris Deception, Fabienne happens upon her parents, Annette and Maurice, sharing a quiet moment in the kitchen, and to me those moments are the ones that make a meal: spending time with loved ones, and sharing those culinary duties – chopping and kneading, table-setting and doing the dishes. We remember the stand-out menus, of course, but it’s those moments with friends and family that truly make a dinner – any dinner – special.
Being a Champagne house, it felt only natural to have a recipe for chicken with Champagne on the menu. This recipe is all about indulgence: crispy chicken skin, creamy mushroom sauce, and that all-important je ne sais quoi that a splash of sparkling wine brings to the party.
You can serve this dish as is, but I like to have it over wilted greens: spinach tossed in a splash of lemon. Serve, naturellement, with sparkling or a dry white wine.
I hope you enjoy Fabienne’s family recipe for Coq au Champagne!