Charles Coulombeau, head chef at the restaurant ‘La Maison dans le Parc’ in Nancy and winner of the 2020 Taittinger prize, was so inspired by the revisited folk tales in our latest podcast series that he has come up with four perfect recipes for the Christmas holidays. Visit this page every week for a new recipe.

Inspiration: The Nutcracker 
Recipe for 6 people: Roasted coaquerel, variation on parsnip and ballotine with walnuts and hazelnuts
The perfect cuvee to pair with this recipe: Brut Réserve and Prestige Rosé cuvees 

The chef’s comments: “We often think of capon and turkey for the festive season instead of poussin, which I think is really overlooked. It’s a portion of poultry, which you can serve whole if you want to be generous. I like how it pairs with the softness of the parsnips, which I cook in several different ways (puréed, fried in butter, etc.). You make the chips with the parsnip peel; not only is there no leftover waste but it’s also delicious. The nuts are rolled in the ballotine, and I like the combination of crunchy nuts mixed with the candied poultry.”
The chef’s tips: “Don’t overcook the coquerel, and serve it almost pink so it’s juicy.”
The cuvee: “You’ve always need wines full of character to accompany poultry. The Brut Réserve and Prestige Rosé cuvees are ideal.”


Ballottine and roasted poussin:
6 coquerel
1 carrot
1 onion
75g walnuts
75g hazelnuts
75g currants
1 tsp mustard
2 tsps sherry vinegar

Separate the thighs from the coquerel cavity. Remove the back using a pair of scissors. Brown the thighs skin-side down in a frying pan until well-coloured, remove and place in an oven-proof dish, add the peeled and halved carrot and onions then cover with water. Cover the dish with tin foil and cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 90 minutes.

Once cooked, debone the chicken thighs then combine with the mustard, crushed currants and roughly chopped nuts. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture as well as 3 tablespoons of cooking liquid, the sherry vinegar and the chopped chives. Roll out a piece of cling film on the work surface, place the mixture on top and roll it into a ballotine. The next day, cut the ballotine into slices then brown in a frying pan.

Fry the rest of the coquerel in the pan by browning the skin first then drizzling in butter foam.

750g parsnips
150g double cream
50g unsalted butter
¼ vanilla pod

Peel the parsnips. Keep one in lemon water for the parsnip chips, and chop the others into cubes. To make the chips, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler and fry gently in oil (at around 140 degrees). Cook the cubes in salted water until completely cooked.

Bring the cream to the boil and add the vanilla pod.
Drain the parsnips and place in a food processor. While blending the parsnips, gradually add the hot cream followed by the cold butter. Adjust the seasoning by adding a little salt, if necessary.

3 bunch of mini-parsnips

Peel the mini-parsnips and keep in lemon water to prevent from oxidising. Cook in boiling water for 2 minutes then fry in a pan with butter foam. Add a little honey near the end of the cooking time and caramelise.

Brut Réserve cuvee
Prestige Rosé cuvee