I didn't think it was coming this year, but it's finally here...FALL! All of those wonderful feelings of the season are slowly making their way to the south - there's a slight nip in the air, leaves are rustling overhead and beginning to have that earthy crunch underfoot. We're outfitting our homes in cozy colors and layers, and kitchens can once again come alive with the flavors and scents of Autumn. One of the very best parts of fall in our home is the nostalgic and savory aroma of a roast, soup, or stew - drawing us to gather in the kitchen and around the table!
Whether you've got several hours to linger or need to get a hearty and satisfying meal on the table in about an hour, nothing is more rewarding or nourishing than a whole chicken, roasted to perfection with a bounty of root vegetables.
The humble chicken is transformed into a delicacy in none other than our Smithey Cast Iron Skillet.* By emitting and retaining a high, even heat, the Smithey helps our bird stay moist and delicious, while creating this beautiful golden, crispy skin.
And let's talk about those vegetables. The combination of chicken drippings, a little stock, and a splash of wine produce the sweetest, softest, most caramelized carrots, parsnips, and mushrooms.
Ok, so we've got the quintessential fall meal, perfect for a weeknight or weekend, now we need to pair it with the perfect wine.
Chicken has a pretty mild flavor and seems to pair well with a variety of wines, both white and red. But as Food & Wine points out, there is one wine that stands out above others - the Pinot Noir.
We paired our beautiful skillet creation with a 2017 Pinot Noir out of Monterey County, California. This Pinot's bright, fruity notes and underlying spiciness are an ideal match for the chicken's layered herbiness and vegetables' sweet caramelization.
This Pinot Noir is bottled exclusively by Dove Hunt Dog Winery for Scout & Cellar. Scout & Cellar is an e-commerce wine club dedicated to delivering 'clean-crafted' wine - wines produced from fruit grown naturally without synthetic pesticides and vinifed without modifications or added sugars. Those pesky additives are what alters wines' tastes and causes headaches and other adverse health effects. You can learn more about the 'clean-crafted wine' difference on Scout & Cellar's website. Or come out to our Sip-and-Shop on Thursday, October 25th, where we'll be tasting this Pinot Noir and three other wines from Scout & Cellars monthly sample set.
To take this dish to the next level and really play off the wine's sweet and spicy notes, we also made a grape agrodolce. Agrodolce is a sweet and sour Italian condiment made by reducing sugar or honey with vinegar and fruit. We added red grapes and yellow raisins (Figs would also be to die for...) some of our savory herbs, and bay to create an out-of-this world accompaniment for our already impressive chicken and roasted vegetable dinner.
Agrodolce is incredibly versatile. It's works wonders with similar dishes such as roasted pork, but it's sticky-sweet nature makes a great glaze for chicken wings. You can also serve it app style drizzled over fruit and cheese or as a dipper with a baguette.
And speaking of versatile, you need one of these handmade wheel-turned cheese stone's in your life. Talk about a beautiful way to serve appetizers or desserts! This stone is designed to heat evenly, too (Perfect for an oven-to-table brie).
*A Smithey Cast Iron Skillet ain't your big box or grocery store skillet. Compared to other mass-produced cast iron which has a rough, sandpaper-like cooking surface, Smitheys are honed down to a glassy. satin-smooth finish, making them virtually non-stick, right out of the box. Just an initial "seasoning" with a little oil over high heat, and you'll be on your way to great cooking. Sear steaks or fish, fry eggs, caramelize vegetables, bake a cornbread, and whip up a one-skillet wonders with abandon. Tonight, it's the perfect vessel for our chicken dinner.
- 1 whole roasting chicken, about 4-5lbs
- 4 carrots, sliced diagonally into even pieces
- 4 parsnips, sliced diagonally into even pieces
- 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- olive oil
- Course sea salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup wine. We went with the Dove Hunt Dog Pinot Noir since that is what we're pairing with this dish.
- A handful (a few sprigs of each) of fresh savory herbs, including rosemary, sage, and thyme, roughly chopped.
- Preheat oven to 400F, convection roast (Or 425F, in standard ovens)
- Place carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, garlic, and half of the chopped herbs in the bottom of the Smithey. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper. Place the whole chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Drizzle and rub olive oil over exposed chicken skin. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Add stock and wine to the pan with the vegetables; pour a little over the chicken too.
- Transfer the Smithey to the oven. Roast for 45-50 minutes until meat thermometer reads 165F. (Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken - usually the leg). Cover with foil to prevent excess browning while chicken finishes cooking.
- Remove Smithey from oven. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Garnish with remaining herbs.
- Serve with agrodolce sauce and Dove Hunt Dog Pinot Noir.