Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#286 - Roast Chicken & Endive in Rosemary-Balsamic With '11 Ponzi Arneis

Continuing the theme.

A lot of Michael Symon and Jamie Oliver lately and this meal was no different.

A simple meal with Symon chicken we've chronicled here a few times already and a easily made endive (chicory) salad with rosemary and balsamic taken from Jamie Oliver's 30-Minute Meals. Oliver garlic bread that eschews butter to top off the goodness.

Wine thoughts: red and chicken is boring to us. Sparkling might have been nice but we like a wee touch of spice or a bread and cheese leader to counter/play with bubbles. White wine was the leading candidate to start but the meal needed acid in the wine to stand up to the balsamic and the roasty caramelizing, the major flavor drivers on the plate. Balsamic's Italian, lemon and bay in the chicken are common Italian ingredients. Garlic bread. What's more Italian? Arneis has acid and it's Italian. So we drank Italian...from Oregon.

Food: Symon chicken and Oliver chicory salad with garlic bread

I'll plagiarize myself: Go here to see the prep. "Lemon peel and bay leaves shoved under the skin (with that, garlic and onions put up its rump) has made for a better whole roasted chicken experience. Juicy thigh, delicious salty, lemony skin, bay leaf flavor flyin' everywhere."

It's better chicken. Onions cut in half and stuck in the pan with the chicken to roast. A caramelized wonder, my friend.

The New & Good came in the salad. Endive (chicory) salad. Whole Foods endive (no price sticker, a somewhat common thing in the WF produce section at times, which usually means the item's insanely expensive. These, $9 for six. Whew!) cut in half, left dry and grilled up in the still sizzling cast-iron skillet used for the chicken roast. A quick slather made with Fustini's balsamic, finely chopped rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Endive tossed in said slather. Mr. Oliver said something crazy happens with the rosemary and balsamic and he wasn't kidding. Silly-stupid great stuff here, virtually no work and, in its totality, an entirely new flavor in our world.

Ciabatta bread sliced lengthwise with multiple cuts crosswise. Olive oil drizzled over the top with garlic, parsley and oregano mixed together and then jammed into all the slits, wrapped in parchment paper and stuck in the oven.

So...chicken, endive salad and bread. Simple, rustic and Great. It's what Good.

Wine: 2011 Ponzi Arneis Willamette Valley ($25 - Winery)

Didn't taste this one during our visit to Ponzi last month but were assured by the taster that it was stellar stuff and wasn't going to be around long.

He wasn't wrong.

Nose of herbs and saltwater. Bit of a Five-Alive quality to the fruit by itself, leading me to initially think this was going to be a run-of-the-mill white we can chug willy-nilly. But something magically delicious happened with the food.

The frozen fruit concentrate quality turned into something crazily graceful and proper with each subsequent bite of food. Five-Alive became pear skin, peach fuzz and nuts with delicate herbs and a mouthwatering acid and seawater finish. Beautifully balanced, a bit cheeky and tons of secrets that were revealed at its own pace.

Pairing:  94  Happy-slappy wine that seemed made for the food

Made us want to write a letter to Ponzi and tell them about it.

The wine had such grace and subtlety with the endive salad, lengthening and extending out the pleasure for minutes after a bite and sip.

Great with the lemon-bay combo that oozed into the chicken skin, perking up the pear skin and seawater with a finish that turned more citrusy. Same with the garlic bread.

The wine completed the meal with a tremendous elevation and enhancement. We were excited about this food before eating it and it lived up to that excitement, hitting a rustic place so thoroughly that it transcended the mere concept of such things. The wine helped bring it to a place we hadn't expected.

It's that place you chase when trying to nail a food and wine pairing but a place only trial and error with a dash of happenstance can offer.

Happy happenstance here in spades. We came in with right and proper pairing thoughts but this went someplace only a bit of luck allows.

This went deep-deep-deep in its deliciousness.

No comments:

Post a Comment