Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finagle Your Fowl

Somedays, my menu and my wine cellar are at odds. I want to serve wine with my meal but don't feel that I have the perfect pairing. Take the ultimate white meat choice, chicken. There are ways to tweak it's proverbial beak.

For spicy wines: Garnish with smoked sea salt after carving. Or, rub the chicken skin with a combination of equal parts chile powder and cumin before roasting.

For tannic wines: Drizzle the roast chicken with high quality olive oil. Or, add 1/3 cup white wine to the pan while roasting the chicken,deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup chicken broth after the roasting is done, reduce slightly, and whisk in 1 tablespoon butter or 2 tablespoons heavy cream to finish the sauce. Serve alongside the chicken.

For wines with a high percentage of alcohol: Peel and cut 2 or 3 large onions into quarters, and roast them in the pan with the chicken. After roasting, transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree with olive oil, a splash of high quality balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Serve as a condiment alongside the chicken.

For acidic wines: Serve a wedge of lemon alongside the chicken. Or, drizzle the chicken with high quality balsamic vinegar before serving. Or, serve with a pickled vegetable chutney or relish.

Never fear wine, chicken woman is here!