There's no way it'll be drinkable after the 38 remaining days of Lent. Too bad, because it's the good stuff, not that roll-the-dice stuff I sometimes buy from the half-price, markdown cart at the grocery store, with the questionable labels and even more questionable taste. Yes. I get it. Lent is all about temptation -- resisting it, that is -- but come on! Am I really supposed to dump it down the drain?
What to do, what to do? Well today, when life gives you wine, you make pan roasted chicken. At least I do.
I love a good roast chicken. Although a simple dish, it can be hard to get right and easy to mess up. (Fabio, of Top Chef fame, won a cooking challenge by preparing the perfect roast chicken, which the judges declared five-star-restaurant-worthy. Sadly, he was eliminated the next week. I'm still grieving.)
Dried-out white meat is a culinary sin, and the only thing to be done with limp, colorless skin is feed it to the cat. If he hasn't had anything else to eat for a few days, he may deign to nibble at it.
Usually, I roast a whole chicken on the grill, with fresh herbs and lemon slices stuffed under the skin, and a can of beer stuffed in, ahem, its cavity. Not only is the resulting chicken tasty and moist, but clean-up is minimal. Cooking outdoors means the mess stays outdoors.
Last month, though, I found this recipe in Food and Wine. I modified it slightly, but it's still yummy -- simple, with big flavors. Well worth the time spent cleaning up the pan. And the perfect way to finish off that bottle of sauvignon blanc.
Pan Roasted Chicken with Pancetta & Olives
1 chicken, cut into pieces, breasts cut in halves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
fresh ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
5-7 (depending on size) garlic cloves, peeled
4 oz. pancetta, diced fine
1/2 cup (depending on what's left in the bottle) dry white wine
12 oil-cured or Kalamata olives, pitted
Preheat oven to 450. Toss chicken with oil, herbs and salt and pepper. Arrange, skin side up, in one layer in a 17 x 11 pan. Scatter garlic and pancetta on top, and roast until chicken begins to brown -- about 20 minutes. Drizzle wine over chicken and scatter olives on top, and roast until chicken is done and skin is golden brown -- 20-25 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve with noodles and drippings.