Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conventional Wisdom Ignored

No, Conventional Wisdom is not the name of the artwork pictured. What's pictured is actually a sauce cooking in a pan and the ignoring of conventional wisdom has more to do with an unusual food and wine pairing that proved delicious.

For dinner tonight we seared a salt and pepper seasoned chicken breast in a skillet until it colored just a little. It came out of the skillet and went onto a small tray that was popped in a hot oven. A few chopped shallots went into the original pan with a little more oil for a couple of minutes. The pan was then de-glazed with white wine and chicken stock. Once that reduced by about 3/4 we tossed in some heavy cream, a pinch of saffron, a few shakes of red pepper flakes and some lemon zest. When all of that was heated, combined and reduced slightly we added freshly grated lemon peel, some grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Regiano cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly chopped tarragon. That's what's cooking in the picture above.

We boiled some fettucine while the sauce was cooking. In the end we drained the pasta and tossed it in the skillet with the sauce. After thoroughly combining the two we moved some of the pasta to the plate, sliced the chicken breast and laid it over the top of the pasta. Finally we drizzled the remaining sauce over the top of the chicken.

This is a meal that seemed to call for a chardonnay based wine, or with the tarragon included maybe a sauvignon blanc. We did neither. Instead I opened a 2007 Leitz Trocken Rheingau Riesling. The wine was totally dry and smelled of citrus zest and wet slate. The wine and the tarragon went together like Tristan and Isolde out boating on the Rhine. The acidity in the wine cut the richness of the sauce and the minerality just brought all the parts together.

For a quick supper after work, this one was a keeper.

No comments: