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Warm Chicken with a rich Vermentino

January 25, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

This recipe was given to me by a friend of mine Lesley Tummelty, who is a chef here in Dublin. These were her words exactly and as you will read, she is as passionate about food as I am!!

First of all get your hands on a really nice free range chicken, from a butchers, I never buy my meat from a supermarket. You will also need a heavy duty casserole dish with a lid. Remove the wishbone from the chicken, you could ask your butcher to do that.

 Melt a good knob of butter in the casserole dish, medium heat, place bird breasts down to colour nicely, about 10 mins, then using tongs turn bird onto it’s back. Add a mirepoix(large dice) of root vegetables eg onions, carrots,parsnips, peeled potatoes ,whole cloves of garlic and some celery.

A nice bunch of parsley and thyme,s&p and a generous glass of white wine. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for about an hour or until cooked through. This is a very well behaved dish, it re heats well and tastes even better the next day! I usually serve this with some nice fine green beans and if the weather is absolutely lashing against the windows, some lovely buttery mashed potatoes. Even if this sounds like over kill , it’s like being hugged!

I suggest a good bottle of Vermentino to go with this dish, as the chicken is quite rich along with the strong flavours of the herbs, vegetables and wine, therefore a good medium to Vermentino di Sardegna Costamolino Argiolas (2008)full bodied white wine is ideal.  The Vermentino by Argiolas hails from Sardinia very near to the city of Caligari which is at the South Eastern tip of the island.  Argiolas is a family run winery who have been producing wine for generations, they are renown for their typical Sardinian wines as they use only indigenous Sardinian grapes ie Vermentino, Connonau, Nasco etc. Argiolas enlisted the help of the famed enologist Giacomo Tachis who also worked with Tenuta San Guido.

Due to the very warm climate and high altitude the wines from here tend to be quite full bodied and strong in flavour. Vermentino grows very well on the island of Sardinia as it is highly resiliant grape, it resists heat and drought which is a very common occurance here.  Interestingly because Sardinia is an island it recieves a lot of strong wind, and these strong winds prevent some diseases from forming on the grape which means that the growers don’t need to use as many pestacides on the grapes. Typically wines from Sardinia have a strong heady floral aroma and are extremely aromatic.  The most striking flavour of Argiolas’s Vermentino is of citrus, followed by flavours of banana,pear, mango and slight flavours of almonds.  It’s lovely and crisp yet highly flavousome, with a straw yellow colour with green reflections.  It is more of a food wine rather then a wine you would drink for an aperitif, which is why it is perfect with the Chicken dish I have suggested.


Inez O’Shea
“A Taste of Italy”