Wednesday, February 2, 2011

#159 - Greek Chicken Legs & Pomegranate Salad With Orballo & Albero

Yeoman's work was done in today's New York Times with Julia Moskin telling the world that pepperoni is NOT an Italian meat product.

Over four years now working at an Italian pizzeria and this is still, routinely, something that people are aghast that we don't carry.

For today's offering, how to take dirt cheap bargain chicken and make it into something so much more. Or alternately titled, 49¢/lb. chicken legs! Gotta marinate the crap out of that!

Food: Greek chicken legs with mâche and pomegranate salad, hummus and pita

Chicken leg quarters marinated in onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil. Cooked under a brick, thanks to Mark Bittman and his recently shuttered NYT food column, The Minimalist. RIP. Here's every Minimalist column in its 14-year history. Marinated for days. The chicken was just chicken but the flavor that bled into the skin and fat was sublime. Greeky to the nth degree. Great onion-lemon play. Became souped-up chicken at Harvesttime clearance prices ($1 total for chicken on both plates).

Homemade hummus. We've had good homemade hummus a ton of times. Last night's came shockingly close to Semiramis hummus (best I've ever had) in many ways. The key seemed to be cooking the dried chickpeas at home instead of using canned chickpeas. Olive oil drizzled over the top to finish. Delicious stuff. Couldn't get enough. Served with fresh pita bread from the Middle Eastern bakery in Andersonville ($5).

Salted kumato slices with a mâche salad topped with a Saveur recipe of pomegranate seeds, cubanelle pepper, scallions, mint, parsley and lemon juice (Saveur: "tomato salad with herbs and pomegranate"). Probably about $8 total - pomegranates ain't cheap. Screamed fresh acid with darker undertones of flavors. Bright yet almost brooding and the best part of the meal. A combination bite of scallion and pomegranate seed with mâche and lemon juice was familiar yet entirely new and I couldn't get enough of it.

Simply nothing missing with this meal coupled with boatloads of quality acid, something we both love and need. And a grand total of about $14 for both plates.

Wine: 2008 Orballo Albariño ($17 - WDC) and NV Albero Cava Brut ($7 - Trader Joe's)

I've written about the Orballo Albariño multiple times and it showed pretty much the same as before. Nice minerals with tons of lemon rind and big, big acidity. Not a simple wine. Some depth here with maybe a pear core (and a little canned pineapple juice) hiding underneath with something like a creamy almond. If someone were to ask where to start with albariño, I would say this one every time. Cheap albariños can be uninspiring. This one shows exactly what it can be for under $20 and beats most $30 ones. Big, raw and confident while showing alternating layers of finesse. It's probably our favorite albariño with the Valtea running a close second.

The NV Albero Cava recently returned to Trader Joe's. It's nothing dramatic or complex, just a simple cava that has the quality of being more what it's not than what it is. Key lime upfront this time with a touch of apple and lively bubbles. It gets a lot right for $7 and its solid bubbles serve so many meals well when you want to inject a little sparkling into a meal without spending too much. Hummus and sparkling is glorious.

$24 for the wines.

Pairing: 86 Food won the day but it was nice to have the wine around

Not much enhancement with either wine but the Orballo showed best, standing up to the significant amount of acid on the plate and even showing a touch of cream on the back-end with the chicken. Good stuff. Not great stuff but tons to like.

The Albero never got out of "fine" territory when it came to the pairing but its place always comes from its sparkling nature and the lift it offers. Nice to have there.

$38 total for everything. Stupid good food and wine that wasn't too shabby at all.

And $38. Did I mention that?

No comments:

Post a Comment