September 13, 2009 Harvest Menu

We finished bottling our 2008 Müller Thurgau and started harvest plus crushing on our small lots of trial varietals plus our 2009 Verjus. The menu was paired with our Perennial Vintners 2007 Méthode Champenoise Orange Muscat (non-bonded).

Wine pairing: Perennial Vintners 2007 Méthode Champenoise Orange Muscat (non-bonded)

French Roast Chicken

5-6 lb. chicken
2 T. Herbes de Provence
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 T. salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine herbs, garlic, salt & pepper into a loose paste. Clean the chicken out and remove extra fat at cavity opening. Cut a 1/2" slit in the skin over each thigh. Loosen the breast skin from the meat all the way back. Insert 1/2 t. paste into each thigh slit and massage around. Spread 1 t. paste under each breast skin, spread around evenly, and pull the skin back up. Split remaining paste and spread inside the cavity and over the outside. Let rest and come to room temperature for 1/2 hour. Put chicken upside down on a roasting rack in a 9 x 13" pan. Add 1/2" water or wine to the pan. Put in the oven and reduce heat to 350 F. Roast 1 hour, basting every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the chicken breast up and return to oven. Roast another hour, basting every 10 minutes and adding water if needed so drippings don't burn. Cook until internal thigh & breast temperature reaches 180 F. Turn the broiler on high if needed to finish browning the skin, checking every minute. Remove, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes.

Niçoise Potato Salad

2 lb. young yellow finn potatoes, cut in quarters
1 lb. green beans, snapped into 1-2" lengths
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 C. Kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 C. verjus
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh tarragon, minced
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. anchovy paste
2 T. capers, minced
2 t. salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper
1 pt. grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside. Add the potatoes to a large pot of salted cold water. Bring almost to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until almost cooked. Add the beans, raise heat slightly and cook another 2 minutes. Add the onions and stir briefly, then drain thorougly in a colander. Remove to a large mixing bowl, add the dressing and toss gently a couple of times while cooling. Add the tomatoes when cool and mix once more.


1 lb. yellow crook neck squash, cubed
1 lb. eggplant, cubed
1 lb. roma tomatoes, chopped
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 green bell pepper, chopped
4 pressed cloves garlic
4 T. olive oil
4 T. salt
1 T. fresh ground pepper
4 branches basil leaves, chopped

Toss the eggplant & squash with 2 T. of the salt, and let sit in a colander for 30 minutes. Saute the onions in olive oil in a large stew pot over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peppers and cook another 2 minutes. Rinse the eggplant & squash, then pat dry. Add the squash & eggplant and cook another 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir frequently until the tomatoes juice out. Adjust seasonings, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20-30 minutes until al dente, stirring frequently. Serve hot or cold. Better the following day!

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