I’m that person.
I am that person who writes out the weekly menu every Saturday morning and, by George, sticks with it. I’m the one who absolutely, positively must make out a grocery list before she steps foot in the store, lest she wander the aisles aimlessly, moodily, inevitably overspending in the end. And I’m that one person who stands in the middle of the grocery store aisles crossing items off her list then double checking her list to make sure no ingredient is missing.
My menus change with the season: lots of stews, soups and panini’s in the winter that eventually give way to grilled meats, corn and heaps of tomatoes in the summer. Amid the changes, there is that one dish that remains on my menus from January through December: roasted chicken. Not only is it a meal you can stretch into 2 or even 3 meals (between 2 people), but it’s a dish that can be served on a weekday or for a dinner party. On top of it all, it’s affordable, comforting, satisfying and really tastes great with a lot of different wines.
It all depends on the side dishes. In the winter, my chickens are roasted on a bed of potatoes, rubbed with Herbs de Provence and served alongside sautéed kale or roasted brussels sprouts. This version is divin with any red wine, from Ponte’s light Tempranillo to Ponte’s robust Cabernet Sauvignon. Once spring arrives, my chicken is stuffed with herbs and lemons and is accompanied by grilled asparagus and a big salad. With this, I prefer Ponte’s Graciela or Fume Blanc. And when that lovely season of summer hits, I serve a lemon-roasted chicken on a bed of croutons alongside sliced heirloom tomatoes. No wine in the world could be better than Ponte’s Fiorella with this dish.
I have tried dozens of roasted chicken recipes roasted anywhere from 350 to 425 degrees, ranging in cooking times from 1 to 2 hours, with many disappointing results. I think I finally found the right combination. Here is one of my favorite recipes; the wine pairing is up to you. Trust me, any wine will do, just make it a Ponte wine.
1 4-lb roasting chicken (any roasting chicken will work here, however, I’ve found that free-range, organic chickens really do taste the best)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
Handful of herbs, i.e. fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley and sage, or whatever you have in your garden
1 lb Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 medium sized onion, sliced
Herbs de Provence
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove giblets and rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with your crushed garlic, lemon and herbs. Tie the chicken legs together and tuck the wings behind the breast to prevent them from burning. In a bowl, mix the potatoes and onion with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence to taste. Put this mixture into a roasting pan and lay your chicken on top. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and rub all over skin, then sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. Roast chicken for 1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours. To test for doneness, make a cut between the legs/thigh and the breast. If the juices run clear (no pinkness), the chicken is done. Cover with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Remove the lemon from the cavity and squeeze over your chicken and potatoes. Serve chicken and potatoes with any other side dishes of your choice. Serves two people, with leftovers.
By Erica Martinez