Sweet Potato/Parsnip Risotto, Honey/Pepper Flake Roasted Chicken, and Four Gates Pinot Noir

We were not interested in another red meat meal, yet with the cold front lingering we were interested in a warm comfort food.  So we went to one of our old standbys – risotto.  I changed the risotto recipe this week to precook the root vegetables before integrating them into the dish.  There is a major issue with cooking food for Friday Night; the fact that the food needs to be reheated.  Its rears its ugly head for Risotto, where the creaminess that comes from extracting the rice’s innate scratches, is hard pressed to duplicate in a Friday Night situation.  Risotto is normally finished with cheese or butter, which of course causes issues with a meat dinner, but also makes it difficult to replicate in an oven.  In the past, I have been successful with cooking the risotto one or two cups of liquid short, letting it cool down and refrigerate it over night.  Then take it out the next day, let it come to room temperature, and then add in the last amount of liquid, plus some fat of some sort, and throw it in a low temperature oven, in a ceramic like dish.  The ceramic dish helps to force the heat into the dish and if it has a good enough cover, it helps to keep the heat from escaping.

So in our past attempt at making risotto, which was a semi-failure, we pointed out that adding in the raw vegetables late to the party was a mistake.  This time around, I sweated them in a separate pot, and added them to the dish at the end, knowing there would be more time in the oven to make them all work together.  This time the dish worked out great, proving that either roasting or sweating the vegetables ahead of time, is a far better approach.

The recipe can be found here, where we roasted the root vegetables ahead of time.  In the end there are really on two things in my recipe you can change; the vegetable and its preparatory heating.  In our case this week we chose a mixture of Sweet Potato and parsnip, cubed into the same shape, and sweated in a pot until almost tender.  The rest of the recipe stands true (albeit sans mushroom), and a cup of liquid short.

Friday day remove the risotto early to let it come to room temperature, add in more hot liquid and a bit of oil, mix it around, and place it in the oven right before Sabbath.  My wife made a wonderful roasted cut up chicken that is spiced with honey, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.  The meal was rounded out with a lovely fresh green salad.

Lemon Rosemary Pepper Flake Roasted Chicken Recipe
1 cut up chicken
2 tbsp  lemon juice
3 tbsp of honey
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp red pepper flakes

Clean the cut up chicken and then place the chicken in a roasting pan.  First put the lemon juice all over the chicken and then place honey all over the chicken as well.  With the chicken glistening with both lemon juice and honey, shake the rosemary and red pepper flakes all over the chicken as well.  Bake the chicken covered at 325 degrees for 1 hour.  After one hour, remove the white chicken from the roasting pan.  Leave the dark chicken in the roasting pan for another hour, and then remove the pan and let cool down, before placing in the refrigerator.

To match the chicken and risotto, I pulled out a wine that I have not had in a bit of a while, a Four Gates Pinot Noir N.V. (2005 and 2006 vintages).  The wine has evolved since we last tasted it.  It is rounder with more oak, clean red fruit, and tart red cherry. The wine paired so nicely with the risotto and roasted chicken.

The wine note follows below:

N.V. Four Gates Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz CA – Score: A-
The nose on this ruby colored wine, with a hint of orange, is rich with oak, raspberry, Kirsch cherry, coffee, and a hint of plum. The mouth on this medium bodied wine rounds out nicely, after an hour of air, and the tannins are nicely integrated, giving the wine a full velvety mouth.  The mouth is also concentrated with a lovely tart cherry, raspberry, and oak.  The mid palate is balanced with nice acidity, integrated tannins, oak, and coffee.  The finish is super long with tart Kirsch cherry, along with acidity, oak, coffee, and lovely tannins.  A rounded flavor of oak and tart Kirsch cherry lingers on the palate long after the wine is gone.

Posted on April 18, 2010, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. One word;AMAZING!! Think I can get away with pairing this dash with an Odem chard?

    • Absolutely. The 2007 Odem Chard easily stands up to the pepper and chicken. The 06 and 07 will both easily handle the heat of the chicken, while also having enough backbone to handle the roast chicken.


  2. Thanks for the tip on pre-making the risotto and will have to try the Four Gates Pinot Noir the next time I make roasted chicken.

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