Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Green Goddess Chicken & Endive-Tomato-Avocado Salad With Uruguayan Albariño & Palmina Arneis

New York Times recipe, part deux, for the week.

Coming off Monday's Florence Fabricant Chinese chili, Melissa Clark chimed in last night with a marinade we've had before a few times in dip form. Mrs. Clark likes food. She particularly likes salt-acid-herb-driven food. So we like her.

Green goddess chicken recipe here. Ours looked like their picture. Except for the professional photography, as you can see. Should have put it through a grainy filter, like everyone else. Wouldn't that have been neat? We all need a heightened sense of reality thrust onto the mundane, don't we?

Recipe followed to the letter. Smoked up the house something fierce, but the result was delicious, summertime chicken and freshy-fresh salad that gave the middle finger to this "fun" winter that Chicago is experiencing.

So...delicious half-chicken for each of us, crispy-roasty-deep with fresh flavors vacillating back and forth with the char in beautiful ways. A salad of endive tossed with the green goddess dressing, chopped; grape tomatoes, scallions and sliced avocado. Handful of parsley dumped on top of both plates. Garlic bread on the side. More dressing to dip and dunk as we saw fit.

This was stellar. So expletive-ly satisfying.

Two wines. A 2010 Palmina Arneis Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley ($20 - Winery) & 2012 Bouza Albariño Montevideo ($22 - Binny's). The Palmina was one of those wines that slipped through the cracks, got buried in the wine inventory, forgot about it, and then we realized it was past its place of any sort of happy strut. Surprisingly, the acid was still bopping along quite nicely, fresh-ish and lively. Juxtaposed with a caramelized tropical fruit note, it made for an interesting drink on the table, and not altogether unpleasant in the least. The Uruguayan albariño went from a "don't know 'bout this" after the first sip to a quite welcome seaside garbage note with zippy acid that, in the end, made for a glossy, shiny, even sorta pretty, wine overall. $22 is a little steep for what you get here, as it's missing a true-blue second act, but we enjoyed its flashy bee-bop.

In the pairing realm, the acid in both wines made for a meal that tasted summery which, given this god-forsaken winter, felt needed.

Quick Note: 

Monday lunch of Trader Joe's French pizza with Anne Burrell asparagus-onion-pecorino salad with 2012 Palmina Botasea Rosado de Palmina ($18 - Winery).
Quality, light, ham and gruyère pizzas from TJ's that are fairly cheap. I've never said no to these when suggested and it's always an easy lunch winner. Anne Burrell asparagus salad that's stupid good and painless to make. It's lunch that hits every note.

We've been on a good run with rosés lately. Susucaru. Charles & Charles Rosé. This Palmina rosato, a nebbiolo, dolcetto and barbera blend, was bought during a 20% off sale. We stocked up on this and their floral malvasia, because Palmina makes delicious, fresh and versatile stuff. Italian grapes with an American expression. It's what they do and they do it so well, this rosato included.

Deep, fresh and muddy in the best way. A lifted WILD berry fruit note countered by a charred peach that was dropped in dirt note. But its quality comes from how structured it is. Tick-tick-tick right down the spectrum of deep rosé goodness without ever getting lost as to where it wants to go and how it wants to go there. Served in the high-50s to start, this one became even more delicious as it came up to room temperature. Three more left. Might need more.

For lunch, I don't know if you can ask for more when it came to the pairing. Slid right in and was happy to give all it gave.    

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