I just love the beauty of roasting a well seasoned aromatic chicken quarter and serving it up with some good sides and wonderful local wine! I also love local fare and simply cannot get enough of it!
Being born and raised in Northern New Jersey, I cannot help but revert back to the local fare that only exists there. Now, I reside in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, and oh boy am I having fun exploring the local fare here, one of the dishes being “salt potatoes.” Simple, beautiful, delish! Just how I like it. Right in line with the peasant cuisine I always long for.
For the chicken, well it’s “Jerseyesque” and was done in a “Savoy” style. I put a nice dry rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and just a little crushed bay leaf all over that beautiful skin. The chicken quarter was roasted at high heat for about 30 minutes resulting in a nice smokey char and a bacon-like skin. During the last five minutes of roasting, I hit it with just a little bit of white vinegar. I wanted to be careful about making the dish more acidic than the wine. But boy do I love cooking with vinegar!!
The salt potatoes were done by boiling very small potatoes in a heavy brine, letting the residual salt lay on the skins after straining, and stirring in some smoked salt with chive butter.
As far as the peppers go, they were roasted on cast iron and simply marinated with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper. I thought the sweetness of the peppers would create a pleasant contrast to this mostly savory dish.
So what’s the common theme here? Smoke, char, salt, and some fattiness. And, that’s what pairs best with this beautiful Cabernet Franc a medium-bodied and well-balanced red wine made right here in the Finger Lakes.
Right off the bat, this wine has a nice vibrant ruby red color. Its ripe red fruit and spice are immediately detected on the nose.
On the palate are ripe red cherry, subtle oak, and a good balance of acidity and tannins perfect for the meal it’s being paired with.
The healthy acidity complements the fatty “bacon-like” smokey taste and texture of the chicken quarter skin and is in harmony with the nuanced light to dark succulent meat from the thigh to the leg and all the little treasures we find when picking around the bone.
This wine has what I consider a medium to a long finish with gently gripping tannins after having consumed the above fare. On its own, the tannins and acidity may grip your palate a little more aggressively but are still very pleasant. It’s a very good food wine.
Regarding the oak. Finger Lakes wines both whites and reds have this distinguishable bright freshness along with a mineral earthy feel. It’s a taste that is a unique characteristic of the region. Too much oak or even moderate oak, I feel interferes with the Finger Lakes terroir. However, I do love oak in my reds and the subtle oak in this wine was done just right!
In my opinion, this Cab Franc is both food-friendly and enjoyable on its own.
For about 20 bucks, this very good quality wine is a steal! I picked this one up at Trowbridge Again Liquors in Cheshire, NY. Thank you for the recommendation Ilan! https://www.trowbridgeagain.com/
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