Krug Champagne’s Latest (And Very Humble) Single Ingredient Will Surprise You

Michelin-Star Chef Gabriel Kreuther enjoying Krug Grande Cuvée.

In an ongoing effort to prove that food pairings for Krug Grande Cuvée – the 168th edition is comprised of 198 wines from 11 vintages dating back to 1996 – are truly limitless, the legendary Champagne house selected, believe it or not, the onion for its 6th annual Single Ingredient program.

To help showcase the humble vegetable’s versatility, along with how elegantly it complements Krug Grande Cuvée, Michelin-Starred Chef Gabriel Kreuther of namesake Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant in New York City created an original recipe called “Coq Au Champagne.” While his is clearly a refined take on the beloved bistro dish, the prominent use of onions and naturally, Krug Grande Cuvée, elevates it unexpected new heights.

And while you may be tempted to save champagne for a more celebratory time, Kreuther, instead, recommends “treating it on par with a great wine. Enjoying Krug Grande Cuvée with food gives it justice, and respects the champagne makers’ work because it is exceptionally crafted.”

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Michelin-Star Chef Gabriel Kreuther created “Coq Au Champagne” to pair with Krug Grande Cuvée. The … [+]

So readers can recreate a little culinary magic in the comfort and safety of home, Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant is offering the Gabriel Kreuther x Krug Single Ingredient meal kit via Tock through the end of March. (The kit is priced at $295, and includes the ingredients for Chef’s Coq au Champagne, a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée 168th Edition, and additional specialty items.)

Ahead, Kreuther shares his inspiration for “Coq Au Champagne.”

When it comes to food pairings for champagne, a lot of us think of more delicate or mild-tasting foods (like roast chicken, oysters, and lobster). With its assertive scent and flavor, onion seems like a surprising choice for Krug’s latest Single Ingredient. What makes onion such a natural pairing for Krug Grande Cuvée?

Kreuther: Depending on the complexity of the champagne and elaboration, it’s mostly served with easygoing food, especially when it’s a single cepage. The difference here is that we have a complex blend with a high percentage of Pinot Noir, which gives it body, intensity, nerve, and length – all hallmarks of a great wine. Krug Grande Cuvée happens to be a bubbly one.

Overlooked in many ways and taken for granted, the onion is a very versatile ingredient. In my recipe: onions loses their astringency, and become sweet. Champagne can bring us a lot of surprises, as does the onion in this instance. “Coq Au Champagne” delivers that aspect and takes away the preconceived idea of the onion.

Onions are used as the base of the creamy, non-dairy sauce for Chef Gabriel Kreuther’s “Coq au … [+]

What was your inspiration behind this elevated version of the classic Coq Au Vin?

Kreuther: We wanted to create something that was not cliché (like you mentioned earlier), with the preconceived idea that only certain foods go well with champagne. Coq au vin is a historical peasant dish in France. This is how people living in wine-producing regions used excess of their wine production, in recipes like this and Beef Bourguignon.

How are onions being used in your recipe?

Kreuther: First, we marinate the legs in onions and champagne. Then, we use them as the base for the sauce thickener, with the addition of celery root and a little garlic. Once the vegetables are very softly cooked, we add almond milk and reduce the braising liquid by about half. Finally, everything is blended until it becomes smooth and really creamy – without the addition of any cream.

Why does “Coq Au Champagne” pair so well for Krug’s Grande Cuvée?

Kreuther: It pairs well because of the champagne has unusual complexity, while the onion gives us mild and sweet flavors. This champagne has the right backbone and length to stand up to the dish, and cleanse the palate at the same time. The Grande Cuvee is truly a “food Champagne.”

The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Travel’s my beat, but I love nothing more than being home in Brooklyn. I got my “accidental” start as a writer contributing for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and

 

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