Everyone I’ve spoken to, the back of every label on the wines I’ve bought, and every online review (both of the only 2 I’ve read!) are telling me two things about the food pairings. One is sweetly spiced Asian food, and the other is smoked fish.
Now I did have the smoked fish all ready to go until the missus polished it off for lunch yesterday with a bit of goat’s cheese and knakkebrod (think ryvita but with a bit more taste to it). Is nothing sacred in this flat? I’m going to have to go back to labeling the food in the fridge like when I was back at uni. The horror of the university kitchen! Let’s not go there…
I can always pop out and get some more when I go to pick up the wines from Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s later today, so no drama.
I’ve got two ideas for the sweetly spiced food. First up, as per usual, I’ve taken the inspiration from the local butchers, Barretts of England’s Lane. Awesome place. I popped in and said my peace. “I’m going for white meat, with a sweet spice marinade, what do you reckon?” They had some chicken legs in a honey and mustard dressing they’d prepared that morning. I’m not sure sweet and spicy is the same as sweet spice, but we’ll give it a go and see what happens.
I love chicken legs because firstly they’re much cheaper than chicken breasts that everyone else seems obsessed with buying, and secondly there’s so much more meat on them than you’d expect. Sear them off first in a frying pan to get the skin nice and crispy, then into an oven at 170 for about 20-25 minutes. I’m serving them up with a small salad. We’ll have a couple of bottles with that later tonight.
The next thing I’m going for is duck. Now duck always brings me back memories of working in a Chinese restaurant when I was a kid. Painful memories. It was my job (because I was 12 years old and had the littlest hands, I shit you not!) to stick my hand up the frozen ducks’ bums and drag out the bag of giblets when they arrived from the supplier. Ducks’ bums are not that big, it bloody well hurt!
Luckily a few years of intense therapy (I am joking now) and I could eat duck again. So I’ve picked up a couple of duck legs, which I’ll score (make cuts through the skin down to the flesh) and then I’m going to marinade in Chinese 5 spice and some fresh ginger. Now be careful when you do this, because if your extractor fan isn’t up to scratch, you will set off fire alarms! Same as with the chicken before, it’s about searing it in a pan and then popping it in the oven. When searing in the pan though, be aware that duck is pretty fatty and as you’re searing it, it will spit at you and create a little bit of smoke. Get those windows open.
For both the chicken and the duck, as you should with any meat, once it’s out the oven let it sit for 3-5 minutes. It lets the meat relax a bit, the temperature throughout normalizes, the colours normalize, and it’s just overall a lot more tender when you eat it. If you’re worried about it getting cold, cover the dish with a bit of kitchen foil.
A few things for you to be getting on with there. Remember, it looks like Gewurztraminer is one to definitely pair with food. So get cracking!
Other posts in NWTW Week 7: