So, on Monday, I mentioned making a special meal on Christmas. This meal was supposed to involve white wine and olive oil. Well, I did try to make the meal – and as I mentioned on Tuesday, kind of messed up the wine selection.
Instead of getting a white wine, I wound up getting Yellow Tail Shiraz – for some reason I thought it was a white wine – it looked clear in the store, but I’m not sure if that was just me wanting to get out of the nutty store as soon as possible on Christmas Eve, or me just proving that I’m Mr. Clueless when it comes to wine again. 😉
Anyway, later on on Monday, I look at the bottle and see that it was, in fact, a red. Well, by this time, all of the shops were closed, and I knew that the bottle shop in town would be open on Tuesday – I checked in to see if, just on some off chance, they’d have a cheaper price on wine, but in fact, the grocery store’s prices were significantly cheaper – for Yellow Tail, the difference was about $4 per 750mL bottle! Instead of going out and spending more money, I decided to go ahead with trying this dish with the wrong wine, just to see how it came out.
One thing that I didn’t realise with this particular brand of wine was that it was a standard bottle – with a cork in it. As you might guess, we didn’t have a corkscrew here, so I had to make an emergency run over to Walgreen’s (after checking their website to make sure they had them) so that I could pick up one.
I get home, and open the bottle – the scent wasn’t bad, so I decided to try some. Boy, oh boy is that stuff bitter! After one or two sips, I could take it no longer and left it go for cooking. After the experience I had with the chicken cacciatore (where the chicken had changed tints to an unattractive grayish-red color), I decided that I’d put in a buffer for the chicken.
The recipe goes like this – mix about 1 cup wine with 1/2 cup olive oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, along with herbs, juice from a lemon (and a lime if you like), plus salt and pepper. I mixed all that together in a bowl, then put it in a dish lined with aluminum foil – I didn’t want to stain the dish with the red wine. On the bottom of the pan, I had put a layer consisting of a sweet potato that I’d had for quite a while but was still good and a zucchini, diced into large chunks. Over that, I put the chicken and then covered the whole lot with another piece of aluminum foil, and put it in a 350°F oven for an hour.
As the hour came to a close, I went in to check on it, and it looked good – the wine/oil mixture was boiling away in the enclosure, and everything looked to be done. I take it out of the oven, and the zucchini had soaked up quite a bit of the liquid – it had turned red from the wine. I then put it onto two plates, for separating the meal apart – I wound up being bad and having both breasts I cooked, but left some of the veggies because they were really tasting of the wine. Honestly, it wasn’t that good of a taste – one that I’d not want to repeat, at least without some adjustment.
So, tonight, I went for plan B. That involved taking the leftover veggies and roasting them with a couple more pieces of chicken (so that, this time, I’ll have some chicken for lunch tomorrow) in an open pan, again lined with aluminum foil because it is just that much easier to cook with. I also threw in a regular potato and roasted that using basically the same recipe as above, just minus the wine, and using exclusively lime juice.
That’s what it looked like in the oven – I have to say that the roasting didn’t really help out the veggies that were soaked in wine – it still had a very bitter taste, which I have to say was kind of a disappointment. The good news, however, was that the chicken was very moist and tasty and the white potatoes were very good, but could have used a bit more of a “roasted” taste.
I think for now I’ll stick to what I know – which is dry cooking, ok? 😉