In the autumn of 2017 I went to Bordeaux, visiting amazing historic wineries including Petrus, Chateau d'Yquem and Château Figeac (my personal favourite).

I travelled with my mentor Timothy Hollingsworth, the chef and owner of Otium where I work; our beverage director, Andrew Pettingell, and our friends from Duclot. We foraged for ceps - penny bun mushrooms - picked out produce from local markets straight from the farmers, visited fishermen and of course, winemakers. I was able to cook in historic chateaus with my mentor, using classic French techniques and ingredients, paired with amazing once-in-a-lifetime bottles of wine.

Jonathan Granada is a Los Angeles-based chef visiting Auckland this weekend as guest chef for Variety - the Children's Charity's winter black tie dinner. Photo / Supplied.
Jonathan Granada is a Los Angeles-based chef visiting Auckland this weekend as guest chef for Variety - the Children's Charity's winter black tie dinner. Photo / Supplied.

The first night, among other amazing dishes, we cooked coq au vin. Some of my favourite things to cook at home are long braises like these, they entirely perfume your home and create a cosy environment. Not only is this a dish inspired by the region we were in, using the wines grown all around us in that Chateau, but it's also one of my most memorable dishes from cooking at the French bistro-style restaurant, Bouchon, in Napa. There, we worked directly with the winemakers and used the wine left over in the barrel from the bottling process in our marinades and braises. Cooking for the winemakers in Bordeaux, it felt like it all came full circle.

Granada picked produce from local markets straight from the farmers, visited fishermen and cooked in historic chateaus. Photo / Supplied
Granada picked produce from local markets straight from the farmers, visited fishermen and cooked in historic chateaus. Photo / Supplied

- Jonathan Granada is a Los Angeles-based chef visiting Auckland this weekend as guest chef for Variety - the Children's Charity's winter black tie dinner. The SKYCITY Variety of Chefs event will raise funds for beds and warm bedding for Kiwi kids without them.

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Coq au vin

1 onion, small diced
1 large carrot, small diced
6 garlic cloves, quartered
450g button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 tsp black peppercorn, ground
1 bottle red wine, Burgundy or Bordeaux
6 chicken thighs, 6 chicken legs
6 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
30 pearl onions, peeled
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter

For the marinade:

Place all ingredients except flour, chicken stock, oil, butter, and pearl onions, in a large container. Cover, refrigerate and let marinate for up to 24 hours, 48 is better.

1 Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside for searing later.
2 Strain off the marinade, reserve wine in one container, and vegetables in another.
3 Place a large cocotte or dutch oven on the stove over a medium high heat. Add canola oil.
4 Season dried chicken with salt and pepper. Place in cocotte, skin side down, and sear to golden brown. Flip and sear on the other side. Remove chicken from cocotte.
5 Turn heat to medium, and add butter and marinaded vegetables and bacon. Sweat for about 5 minutes.
6 Return chicken to pot, then pour reserved red wine into the cocotte.
7 Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the smell of red wine is gone. Then add flour and stir to combine. Add chicken stock.
8 Either lower heat to low and allow to cook on the stove, with lid on, for two hours, or top with a parchment paper cartouche and cook in the oven at 150C for 2.5-3 hours.
9 The chicken should be tender, almost falling off the bone. Do not serve immediately, let it stand for 30 minutes before serving. Just like lasagne, it is better the next day. It can be served with toasted bread, or classically, with fresh pasta.