In the Kitchen: Chicken, Cupcakes & NC Wine for Valentine's Day
In this Valentine's Day edition of In the Kitchen we decided to "Keep It Simple, Stupid" or KISS ... probably something you want to spend more time doing on Valentine's Day then cooking a meal, right?
Since we do like to support our local wineries here in the state, we decided to pull out a couple NC wines to pair with dinner and dessert. For dinner with went with a wine from Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg. We selected the 2016 Handcrafted Viognier Vin Orange and pair that with Rosemary Orange Roasted Chicken. The wine, a late harvest Viognier, was fermented in French oak barrels – and the orange color comes from the skins being in contact with the wine during fermentation. The tropical fruit and pineapple on the nose and finish made this the ideal wine for our chicken.
Making the chicken is pretty straight forward. We had an assortment of bone-in chicken thighs and legs. For the marinade, combine 1/4 cup EVOO with the leaves of 5 springs of rosemary, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Combine that and pour it on the chicken. Thoroughly spread the mixture on all the chicken. Then take an orange and slice it to equal the amount of chicken your making and gently insert one slice under the skin of the chicken pieces. Preheat your oven to 450. Now pan fry your chicken in batches, around 3 minutes per side and return to a clean roasting pan. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes.
We paired our chicken up with a four-cheese risotto and a slice of a blood orange. You can also make white rice or quinoa – or steamed broccoli or asparagus.
Now for dessert ...
Keeping with the KISS method, we decided on cupcakes for dessert. But not just any cupcakes, we decided on Rosé cupcakes using Piccione Vineyards 2016 Rosato made with Montepulciano. This Rosé wine, with a nose of raspberry and lime leading to a palate of strawberry, cherry and lemon zest, added just the right flavor to both the cupcake and the frosting.
That’s right, we added Rosé wine to both the cupcake batter and the homemade frosting, topped with a raspberry garnish. But what made this dessert so incredible, was pairing it with the wine itself. The Rosato cut down the sweetness of the frosting perfectly and made for an amazing end to a fantastic, simple, Valentine’s Day dinner.