Thursday, September 22, 2011

#223 -TK Chicken, Chaource & Baguette With '00 Gaston Chiquet

A treasure trove of Spanish, Portuguese and Canary Island goodness arrived yesterday from our San Francisco trip and a visit to the Spanish Table in Berkeley.

Should be a tasty, Iberian-inspired winter.

Time to play catch-up.

A standard Thomas Keller chicken meal went through the stratosphere with the second-best Champagne we've ever had.

Food:  TK Chicken, Chaource cheese and baguette with mâche

More modifications to the TK chicken as Mrs. Ney finds a happy balance between deliciousness and breezy prep.  Good one here.  Might be a keeper.

Salt, pepper, lemon thyme rub, propped up on the $5 chicken roaster (worth it) in a cast-iron skillet and just tossed in the oven at 450 degrees until the internal temperature hits 160.  Rest for 15-20 minutes and get your fork.

Golden skin, slightly crispy.  Decent breast, great leg and thigh.

The star of the food came in the Lincet Chaource cheese (Champagne).  Third time we've had it with the first one well past expiration and out-of-this-world good.  All chicken juice and funk.  Deep, deep, deep.  Second time less past expiration and it came off fine and good.  This time well before expiration and we got it at a place of balance and freshness along with a mélange of in-and-out flavors that changed with the order of the rest of the food eaten.  Grassy, herby, funky, NUTTY with a right and proper runny exterior (don't get that after expiration).  This is our new preferred place:  Chaource before expiration, everything else after.

TJ's baguette for the cheese and dipping into the chicken juice.  Mâche salad to finish.

Wine:  2000 Gaston Chiquet Spécial Club 1er Cru ($75 - Howard's)

Like drinking two different wines in one glass.  Entered soft, a touch subdued with spritely minerals, good bubbles and background bright fruit of lemon, pear and peach.  Felt like it was hiding a bit, peeking in and out from around the corner.  A smoky hint on entry foreshadowed what was to come and it exploded into a broad wine huge in scope from the mid-palate on.  The fruit turned darker and smoky, came to the fore as it mingled with about 20 flavors I couldn't nail down and it just kept broadening out from there, leading to an immensely long finish that kept changing.  Tons of grace and tons of proper flavors popping in and out.

Truly loved it.  Tough to beat the Larmandier-Bernier Rosé de Saignee from Christmas but this Gaston Chiquet, our first Spécial Club and the oldest vintage Champagne we've had, is a keeper.  A Terry Thiese import worth every cent and more (Thiese's Reading Between The Vines is always highly recommended.  Makes you want to hug him).

Pairing:  94  Champagne cheese and wine.  I'll take a dozen to go.

Solid with the chicken but the goods came from the cheese and baguette.  Both elements stood at attention and did everything the world ordered them to do upon creation.

Words for the meal:  Broad, wondrous, happy and a brilliant distraction.

A Few Notes:  Crios Torrontes has been chronicled here numerous times in pairings with Indian food from Hema's Kitchen on Devon.  In our world, it's a classic pairing.  Our love started with the 2008, the standard bearer for us with its floral acid play.  The 2009 came off a touch watery in comparison.  Still good and more drinkable by itself but never popped with food.  The 2010 rebounded nicely, creating a nice balance between its signature floral notes, pear fruit and acid.  The 2011 ($13 - Binny's) hit Chicago recently and while it doesn't have the balance of the 2008 or 2010, it does have a great 'delicious' factor with food.  I expect the 2011 summer in Argentina was a steamy one because every aspect of this bottling is forward, forward, forward.  A bundle of dried white flowers dominates with more orange fruit than pear this time.  It's a bigg'un.  Mrs. Ney found it to be all flowers and salt and full of awesomeness.  Not particularly great by itself but with spicy food - Hema's again - it had the guts to hold up and excel with the heat factor, especially the extra spicy vindaloo.

The NV François Pinon Vouvray Brüt ($22 - Binny's) offers up a surprising blend of mushrooms, cider, honey, minerals, lemon Pledge and something almost like cinnamon.  Served with a chicken breast, fava bean and speculoos/serrano ham/crème fraiche gravy dinner with pink peppercorns and baked potato.  I never loved the Cuvée Tradition from Pinon.  This one's different in its spectacular weirdness.  Quite good.  We'll have it again soon, I'm a thinkin'.

No comments:

Post a Comment