Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A bit Asian Influenced: Roasted Chicken

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2013 (California) is one of those wines that get into your brain deeply, especially with roasted white meats and fish.

Last night was no exception for this wine.  I had roasted a Murray’s Chicken, a perfect little Pennsylvania bird, stuffed it with whole shallots and ginger with some fresh tarragon, sage and thyme thrown in for good measure.  All tightly knit flavors that are steeped in nostalgia for me.  The combination of these ingredients makes this roast free-range bird sing with possibilities.

For those who don’t know Bonny Doon wines- none other than extreme-garragist, Randall Grahm, creates each one of his conceptions with passionate care.  

Randall is the very personification of doing less to the soil and more for the soul of his drinkers.  The wines consistently impress me as they emerge from his larder, as they speak volumes to those of us who are looking for something different and therefore inimitable in the marketplace.   I like Randall’s wines for their independence and their charisma.  They speak clearly of the place where they are made and they call out to drinkers because of their originality. 

Bonny Doon wines don’t try to be like any other wines from California, or anyplace for that matter, so drawing a correlation to the much better known (read advertised brands) make it difficult at best. 

I could go so far as to say that Bonny Doon wines remind me of the handmade, Shinn wines from the North Fork of Long Island, certainly for their unique Biodynamic approach and they also speak a language that says the Languedoc in France, a region misunderstood throughout history for their individuality of flavor.   There is really nothing wrong with originality, right?

Of course, Bonny Doon wines have their own specific Terroir that can only read: California. 

The Vin Gris de Cigare is a lithe and playfully amusing wine, tightly wound around a core of stone fruits and minerals.  Each sip bursts with grapefruit zest and sea salt dusted hazelnuts.  Coming into view on each sip are wet stones, crushed green apples and freshly cut French herbs.  There is a hint of white pepper and a whiff of strawberries drizzled in white balsamic vinegar on the finish.  This wine finishes crisp and dry.  It begs you to take another sip. (Sip me!)

As a day-drinking wine in the hot sun, I can think of none better.  And with an Asian influenced roasted chicken, well this wine is just brilliant to wash down the succulent herb crusted bird.   The wine is under twenty dollars and should do very well with about a year or two of bottle age, but “drink up” because it’s too good to forget about in your cellar. 

A bit Asian Influenced: Roasted Chicken
Preheat your oven to 420 degrees…
4-5 pound Free Range chicken-washed and dried inside and out
Fresh herbs like thyme, tarragon, and sage
2-3 whole shallots, ends cut off but not peeled
1- 3-inch piece of ginger root, again- not peeled
Freshly cracked pepper
Sea salt
Garlic bulb- top cut off with knife and the small cloves stuffed into the bird, the remainder set beside the bird to caramelize

Rub the chicken inside and out with salt/pepper
Chop herbs finely and rub inside and out
Stuff cavity with shallots, garlic cloves and ginger root
Set the garlic bulb (with the top cut off) next to the bird to soak up the cooking juices
Roast at 420 Degrees for 45 minutes
Drop Temperature down to 300 for another hour or so
Turn oven off and let rest in the oven for 20 minutes or so
Slice as desired and serve with well-chilled glasses of the Vin Gris

Makes a heck-of-a chicken salad sandwich!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails- his most recent book.

He's also written about cocktails for Saveur and Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Total Food Service, Eater, Serious Eats, Foodista, Distiller and Beverage Media among other outlets.  He’s taught the fine art of social media and food writing at the New School in New York and at the Institute for Culinary Education. Warren has also taught at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine.

Bobrow was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and was the only American food journalist asked to participate in Fête de la Gastronomie, a nationwide celebration of French cuisine in Burgundy. 

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