Sometimes the best meals are the most basic. Or they start out with a classic recipe and have an updated element added such as truffle butter, making them even more worthy of a special occasion meal. Throw in a bottle of great wine such as the Sheridan Vineyard Cabernet Franc, and it’s party time!
For the hubby’s birthday, I wanted to make him something delicious. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be so time consuming that he’d have to wait until midnight to eat (but let’s not speak of the homemade pasta episode). The inspiration started with a recipe for roast chicken from The Art of Simple Food by the great Alice Waters. As luck would have it, I came across a tub of truffle butter during my last visit to The Cheese Cellar here in Seattle. So, why not vary the recipe by putting some of that truffle butter under the skin of the breast before roasting? Alice’s suggestion to add a few sprigs of thyme was also incorporated.
On the Side
Whevever the oven is on for roasting a main course, consider throwing in some veggies so that everything can cook simultaneously. During the last thirty minutes of cooking time for the chicken, a sheet pan covered with leeks was popped onto the bottom shelf of the oven. Cut in half and lightly tossed in olive oil, they were laid out in a single layer to ensure they would roast rather than steam. In keeping with the truffle theme, a drizzle of truffle oil and a dusting of truffle salt finished the leeks after they came out of the oven. It may sound like truffle overkill, but I’ll go to any lengths to get the hubby to eat his veggies! Besides, it was his birthday, after all.
Wild rice simply cooked according to the directions on the package rounded out the dinner. It not only enhances the meal with another interesting flavor, it adds some nice contrast to the plate with its dark color.
On this occasion, a Sheridan Vineyard 2006 Cabernet Franc was indeed paired with the meal. Never had Cabernet Franc? Give it a try at your table! When Leslie Sbrocco was in town last month for Taste Washington, she said Cab Franc is the wine she likes to introduce to Pinot Noir drinkers. The Cabernet Franc grape is typically lighter in tannins and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvigion. It was a lovely pairing with this birthday dinner, and didn’t overpower the food.
Not ready to move on from Pinot Noir? Then, go ahead and enjoy a glass of Pinot with this menu. While we were visiting Ken Wright Cellars last week, we favored the Carter Pinot Noir. Or, if you’re in the mood for a white wine, try this menu with a lightly oaked Chardonnay. The Rulo Birch Creek Chardonnay is a good one to consider.