Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#153 - French Pot Chicken & Veggies With '06 Grand Veneur Champauvins

It's a new year and new years bring with it impulses to shake things up a bit.

With last night's dinner, we "shook things up" and tried different chicken. Like many other attempts to try new things, the fact that it was tried is enough.

We'll stick to the chicken prep we love, thank you very much.

Food: French pot chicken with brandy, herb and vegetables, baguette and butter with a mâche salad

A recipe from Around My French Table (M. Jacques' Armagnac Chicken - pgs. 204-5).

Standard 'toss everything in a pot' chicken that allows every flavor to seep into everything else. Chicken, carrots, onions, potatoes, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, pepper and oil with a 1/2 cup of Metaxa substituted for the Armagnac.

Can't complain. Tasted Country French with moderately deep, wintry flavors entirely suited to the gloomy day and time of year. We, though, were left with the palpable feeling of something being missed, which was probably the skin from Thomas Keller chicken. Or the great juice run-off from it that screams essence of chicken. Tasted like solid enough chicken in a pot. Chicken was just kinda 'there', though, with us liking the vegetables with chicken juice poured over them much more.

Baguette and butter to accompany and mâche salad to finish.

Tried something new and plan to continue such things with chicken but nothing beats TKC.

Wine: 2006 Domaine Grand Veneur "Les Champauvins" Côtes-du-Rhône Villages ($17 - WDC)

GSM. Pop and pour. Dark raspberry jam spread on toast with a touch of grilled meat that followed through on the palate. Kirsch mixed in with nice structure for a Villages wine in the mid-teens. Drinking well enough even though some reports said it was done or close.

I liked it more than Mrs. Ney due to its noticeable ability to be a step above something that simply tasted like "wine." Tasted like the shell of a GSM in a pleasant enough way, though never played one cent above (or below) the price tag.

With mid-teens Rhônes in our world, I'd rather spend $35 for one and enjoy the hell out of it instead of the $17 blah-inducing offerings. Outside of the Domaine Des Tours, I've never really loved anything in this price range.

Pairing: 83 Wouldn't do either the food or the wine or the food and wine again

Not necessarily flat or boring, just not particularly inspiring stuff. Took a ten-day hiatus due to sickness in the house and jumping back on board the food and wine train made for taking small steps back into the fray. Which meant nothing too extravagant.

Zero enhancement on the plate or in the glass but as a wine buddy to go with the food, nothing turned icky.

Usually don't love chicken and red wine and this was no exception.

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