Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#237 - Thomas Keller Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Onion Biscuits With NV Pierre Péters Blancs de Blancs

Continuing the jones theme.

More bubbles, this time with fried chicken, a pairing that fits like a glove in many eyes.

Last November, a first run at TK fried chicken achieved that with a Királyudvar sparkling.  That sparkler brought some great acid with dominant peach pit and grapefruit notes, supporting the chicken, wedge salad and buttermilk biscuits, keeping everything lifted, 3-D and surprisingly light. Good food memory there.

Here we had a more fancy, idiosyncratic bubbly offering flavors we didn't expect from a 100% chardonnay.  Cherry pit followed by white raspberry describes the evolution with more traditional citrus, yeast and toasted baguette serving as the backbone down deep.  Less friendly mix and mingle with the food as last November's success but nothing that clashed in the least.

Food:  Thomas Keller buttermilk fried chicken, onion biscuits and mâche with pomegranate seeds

Buttermilk fried chicken recipe from Ad Hoc At Home.  Fussy recipes in that book.  Taste the result and you see why.  Tons of buttermilk is the key so reduced fat is not the goal here.  Better fried chicken in my world doesn't exist.  It's a fat-laced, fried wonder that strangely tastes...clean...with background spices that sorta defines balance.  Thighs won the night but the breasts achieved a juiciness that isn't easy to attain.  I've said it before but Ad Hoc At Home is comfort food perfected.

Quality onion biscuits from a recipe in Around My French Table. Good recipe in this one, bringing us Mrs. Ney's go-to quiche recipe, a great bread-under-roasting-chicken trick and Moroccan phyllo pie, among others.  Butter and rose petal jam to spread.

Mâche with pomegranate seeds, extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic to finish.

For the fried chicken, the foundation comes in the brine.  In honor of the giving season, here's the recipe.  Can't deviate from it.  It'll change your fried chicken life.

Wine:  NV Pierre Péters Blancs de Blancs Cuvée de Reserve ($50 - Howard's)

Disgorged June 2011. 100% chardonnay.  A Terry Thiese selection

Pretty bubbles everywhere in the glass, exploding up from the center bottom and broadening out beautifully.  Medium bodied, starting out with a surprising and dominant cherry pit note with background citrus and yeast.

Transitioned to a white raspberry tart/toasted baguette surprise, similar citrus background notes and medium acid keeping everything in balance.  Came off sorta precocious, tasting like the flavors brought a maturity yet still showed a level of youth and freshly made vitality.

Fancy, interesting stuff that we very much liked, seeing it more as a different expression outside of our NV Gaston Chiquet world we currently know at this price range.  A couple of Special Clubs coming up (Gimonnet and Marc Hebrart) so the comparison should inform us even more on the Champagne goodness.

Pairing:  89  Food great, wine very good, not a technically superlative pairing but happy nonetheless

Enhancement?  Not...really.  More of an example of being happy both elements were together.  Technical pairing lift came from the bubbles and fried chicken batter with a bit of a helpful background found in the lemon-based brine in the chicken and citrus background in the Champagne.

But with the wine defined mostly by the cherry pit to white raspberry wonder, the food, while never fighting it, kept a bit of a distance.

Gorgeous stuff nonetheless.  Happy tongues.

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