Thursday, November 4, 2010

#129 - TK Chicken, Leeks & Arugula With '06 Michel Gahier Arbois

Now that's more like it!

Nothing like Thomas Keller chicken to banish all the bad taste/thoughts that came with Tuesday's venison meal (and the election).

And there's nothing like wine that offers an explosion of creamy fruit that compliments the food while offering something extremely distinct and separate from what's on the plate.

All good pairings do that, but this one seemed to have that in spades.

Food: Thomas Keller chicken with leeks, arugula, baguette, butter and Saint Aubin cheese

The usual TK chicken, this one with copious amounts of white pepper on the chicken and all over the plate. Carved at the (coffee) table as we wanted it (makes a difference), juicy meat all around and just great stuff.

Spectacular leeks: "melted" in bacon fat and muscadet with tarragon and a glop of green peppercorn mustard and last night's celery root pureé added. Creamy, deep flavors jumping everywhere and finishing with the celery root. Blended beautifully with the breast meat, both bright, delicious and seemed made for each other. But with the thigh, the contrast of the leek's creamy brightness and the darkness of the meat was the winner. More complex and tasted thoughtful.

Big, honkin' pile of arugula with tarragon and lemon balm, white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to finish.

Baguette and butter on the side with Saint Aubin cheese. Given as a gift to expand our stinky cheese horizons, we respected what was being offered, even liked the idea of it and willingly swallowed it. But after a few bites, we were done.

Food is more than just food because of food like this food.

Wine: 2006 Michel Gahier Chardonnay "Les Crêts" Arbois Jura ($19 - WDC)

Picked up on a Wine Discount Center run more as a catalog wine that was cheap and highly recommended by our favorite wine person at the store. Didn't think much of it as it got lost in the shuffle a little bit.

We'll be buying more very soon.

Shockingly well composed. Starts and ends with pear custard. ALL pear custard with a hint of fine minerals and some sort of a wee touch of baking spice (nutmeg?). Changed but always stayed within the pear custard framework. Sometimes, it seemed like the pears became smoked and/or poached pears and, at times, especially by itself, the minerality and smoky notes exploded with the custard receding into the background.

Sufficient enough depth to offer so much and unbelievably cheap - thought if I spent $40-50 for this, I'd be thrilled.

May be the perfect place to start if you're interested in Jura whites.

Pairing: 93 It was like the pear custard was something solid on the plate

It offered that much.

With anything creamy - the butter, the leeks - so much pear custard that it tasted like it was part of the ingredients in the food as opposed to merely complimenting the flavors in liquid form.

Probably liked it best with a bite of breast meat and leeks. It made the wine taste like freshly-made custard and oh, so shiny. But it was more complex and kinda brooding, darker, deeper and luscious with a thigh and leeks bite.

Even solid with the arugula, showing a ton of minerals and smoky pears, though the finish was a tad short.

Tasted like old milk poured from a rusty bucket with the a...bad way.

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! Beauty everywhere.

Crap, this was good food and wine.

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