Chicken Roasted with Oranges … Served with an Exquisite Condrieu

Pairing: Chicken Roasted with Oranges, Rosemary and Bay Leaves, Served with Barley Pilaf and Peas, Paired with a 2015 E. Guigal Condrieu

Food: There are so many wonderful seasonings and ingredients that make a simple roast chicken even better (Is that possible?). Raising our own flock of hens year after year has given us ample opportunities to try umpteen recipes and to experiment with a vast array of flavorings. This recipe … Chicken Roasted with Oranges, Rosemary and Bay … has become a family favorite. Amanda Hesser’s singular book, The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside is the source of this inspired recipe. A roasting chicken is first marinated in a combination of freshly squeezed oranges, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, and the remaining orange rinds. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, basting several times in the marinade. Make a sauce out of the marinade and some rich stock (Hesser recommends duck stock). What a memorable integration of flavors! And paired with the Condrieu, it ascends to the stratosphere!

Note: Amanda Hesser is a great writer. Her book is a really good read even if you never make any of the recipes.

Wine: I have said this before, but,… what the heck … I will say it again. If I have a favorite white wine, and … let’s be honest … I do … it has to be Condrieu, the appellation of the Viognier grape grown along a short stretch of the Northern Rhone River. Condrieu is the exemplar … the standard bearer … of the Viognier grape. And to think that Viognier almost completely disappeared. As recently as the 1960’s, the last vestiges of the grape were holding out on a few acres in some quiet corners of Condrieu. A resurgence occurred in the late 20th and early 21st Century as growers and winemakers responded to the growing interest from wine aficionados. Viognier is now grown all over the globe, some of the best coming from South Africa, Australia, California, and elsewhere in France (e.g., Languedoc-Roussillon).

Tasting Notes: Beautiful dark gold in color. Fragrant bouquet of ripe yellow peach, honey and orange (the blossom and the ripe fruit). The palate is light and refreshing with the gorgeous flavor of Charentais melon and honey with only the barest touch of sweetness. Very drinkable by itself (delightful actually), and pairs astonishingly well with the orange overtones to the roast chicken. “It tastes the way an orange smells!” “Gosh … this is good!!” And now … a little musical interlude … bluegrass!! … Orange Blossom Special.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Roast Chicken with Oranges: Riesling (Germany), Chardonnay (California), Semillon (Australia), Gewürztraminer (Alsace)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Condrieu:  Crab Cakes, Lobster, Filet Mignon (with Citrus Hollandaise), Roast Pork with Fruit Glaze or Sauce (Mango, Peach, Orange)

Views of the Condrieu Wine Region: Condrieu

A Source:  www.

Crab Cakes … Utter Perfection with Condrieu

Pairing: Crab Cakes … Paired with a 2015 E. Guigal Condrieu 

Food: The crab cakes of Northern New England are not like those of the Gulf Coast or the Chesapeake.  Our’s are made from Atlantic Rock Crab or Jonah Crab — two cold water species. Maryland crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested from Chesapeake Bay while Gulf Coast crab cakes are made from blue crabs harvested (guess where) in the Gulf of Mexico. In Florida one might use Stone Crabs, while crab dishes served on the Pacific Coast might use Red Rock Crabs or Dungeness Crab. They all have their unique flavor and ingredients and flavorings indigenous to the particular region.

The tasty meat from these rock crabs from cold northern waters are not, as is too often done, to be smothered in mayonnaise and cracker crumbs and butter.  Rather, the picked over crab meat here should be handled gently and lightly combined with a little plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, minced onion, and fresh bread crumbs, formed into patties that just hold their shape. Done this way, the delicate flavor of the crab is retained.  Todd English’s book The Olives Table is the source of this and many other fine recipes from his Boston area restaurant. His crab cake recipe is by far our favorite.


Crab Cakes with Condrieu

Wine:  The northern part of the Rhone Wine Region in France is home to one of the most highly regarded red wines in the world, Syrah. Hermitage and Côte Rôtie are considered the finest expression of this grape. But we are here to talk about a white wine made in the northern Rhone region that could be, among the many wonderful whites from around the world we have tasted, our very favorite … Condrieu. Condrieu is made exclusively from viognier grapes ripened along a tiny stretch of the northern Rhone River. Many believe Condrieu to be the standard by which all viognier wines should be measured. Count us among those faithful.


Tasting Notes:  Beautiful straw-gold color. Fragrance (like a fine perfume) of mango and honey-suckle. There’s some lovely white flowers there, too. The rich flavor of mango joins vanilla cream and peach on the palate. My lord, this wine is absolutely amazing (!!), and a perfect complement to the crab cakes that have been graced with a dollop of aioli. This is a marvelous wine for a very special occasion.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Crab Cakes:  Riesling (Alsace), Chardonnay (California), Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Cava (Spain)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Condrieu:  Lobster, Scallops (dredged in curry powder, seared quickly, then lightly covered in brown butter), Mushroom Risotto

Maps and Views of the Northern Rhone Wine Region:  northern rhone region

A Source:  www.