Monday, 19 March 2007

Friday night alchemy: chicken and wine

I had a busy weekend, and am still eating the leftovers from a wonderful Friday night meal. We had Babe’s parents come round to us, and I made chicken in wine sauce. Not coq au vin, which is more classic and more involved, and possibly grander than what I made, but still a beautiful combination of Riesling and chicken. Based on numerous chicken casseroles that I have previously made, I sort of made it u[p as I went along, taking some of the methodology from Nigel Slater’s winter chicken supper, but changing ingredients and methods.

It was very easy to make, and I am hesitant to write this down, as the end result seemed to owe something to alchemy, rather than the really easy one pot meal that it was. I browned two jointed free-range chickens (for four people, plus too much leftover) in olive oil, about 4 pieces at a time and threw them in our slow cooking pot. I then quickly softened some onions, leeks, carrots and garlic, and threw them in with the chicken. I also added some silverbeet, which seems seasonally good, and I have discovered a great love for. The pot was very, very full, and I filled the cavities in the pot with a whole bottle of clearskin Riesling. I don’t believe the received wisdom that one should only cook with wine that one would also drink – I would never trust a bottle of wine that I paid $6 for in anything but cooking.

I stuck in the fridge on Thursday night, and then on Friday morning, before I went to work, I tucked some herbs in (thyme and rosemary), and set it to cook for the day. I asked babe to add the mushrooms that I had forgotten in the afternoon. That was it. It was a complex, rich and fascinating dish to eat, along with roast potatoes that I managed to get perfectly crunchy and brown. We drank a (more than $6) bottle of pinot noir with it.

No comments: