Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Roast Chicken With 2012 Orballo & La Cana Albariños

I've always loved Synecdoche, New York.

It's such a glorious mess, with that mess coming together to create something pretty great.

Easter roast chicken resembled that last night. The garbanzos were overcooked, the chicken a touch overdone, April corn that barely tasted like corn, avocados that we were looking forward to were simultaneously underripe AND brown so we ditched 'em, all sorts of slight missteps.

Yet, in the end, we got a dinner full of Easter goodness on a rare beautiful day in Chicago, giving us everything we could want.

Dinner: Green goddess chicken with a mustard green, garbanzo, kumato and corn salad, and Pugliese garlic bread, served with 2012 Orballo Albariño Rías Baixas ($18 - Binny's) & 2012 La Cana Albariño Rías Baixas ($13 - Howard's)

New York Times recipe here. Herby, garlicky, anchovy-laden Green Goddess dressing slathered all over the halved chicken and roasted at 500º. The addition of dill turned it into the best version of this great dressing-sauce we've had. Used it on the chicken, to dress the salad and top the garlic bread. This is a rip, top, layer and dunk meal; making lil open-faced sandwiches with various combinations to create different bites.

Mustard green-garbanzo-kumato-corn salad. Fresh, clean, happy. Mustard greens packed a mustardy punch, which helped things along quite nicely.

Pugliese bread sliced, jammed with roasted garlic, olive oil and parsley, wrapped in wet parchment paper and roasted in the oven. Always Good Bread.

Chicken, salad, sauce, bread. But better.

The wines help take this meal to a Better Place with its Rías Baixas minerals, length and verve.

The 2012 vintage of Orballo Albarino just showed up in Chicago. Spring has arrived when the new vintage of whites show their face and Orballo leads that pack for us. The 2011 was stupid-great, so complete. Stunning stuff. The 2012 is less so yet still possesses everything we love from Orballo. Minerals, acid grip, length, seawater spritz. You taste it and you "Want to go to there!"

The La Cana, a new-ish Jorge Ordoñez project with the 2008 vintage being the first of this label, is one of the best white wine bargains on the planet. More delicate than the Orballo, this one gives more pear and lemongrass with a less aggressive overall expression. Its goodness is given in stages, shooting for a more quiet albariño voice without losing its personality and succeeds. For $13, it's a steal. Old vines, half the grapes given a little oak, precise, lean and delicious.

It's too bad most people know albariño in its under-$10 form. Spend a few more bucks and you get body, texture and happiness in the glass. They take a meal that emphasizes herby freshness to such great heights, as it did here.

We'll be there in a few months, because good albariño tastes like a place we need to see, taste and feel.

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