This post is sponsored by Roccafiore wines. Opinions are 100% mine.
Sipping a glass of Fiorfiore organic white wine on a beautiful Autumn afternoon I am transported to the rolling hills of the Roccafiore Vineyard and Spa in the Umbria region of Italy.
I nimble on figs and fresh ricotta cheese... I can spend the whole afternoon dreaming of Umbria. Fiorfiore's pale yellow color reflects in the golden rod that surrounds the woods of my backyard. Another sip and I taste the scents of pineapple, yellow apple and the delicate notes of sweet spices.
My lucid dreaming is interrupted ... children!
"What time is dinner?"
"I'm getting hungry."
"Dinner is an hour from when I get up from this chair."
I pretend to ignore them but I feel their stares. It is time to get up and make a Umbrian dinner. Because the region of Umbria is smack dab in the middle of Italy it is not known for seafood. Instead chicken and pork are favored, and the flavors of lemons from the South and rosemary from the North are blend together with butter and olive oil to make the seasonings of this area.
My family is from Southern Italy and we rarely use butter in our cooking, but as you get further North in the country butter and cream become more common. Southern Italians eat a lot of pasta, but as you head North people eat instead of pasta, potatoes and vegetables like fennel, which is popular in Umbria.
I enjoyed the Roccafiore Fiorfiore wine with my afternoon snack of figs and ricotta cheese, but it wasn't until I paired this white wine with flavors from it's region did it really come to life. Fiorfiore's warm soft flavor, and it's fresh minerality really balanced the buttery richness of the Umbrian Roast Chicken.
Roccafiore Winery and Spa website: http://www.roccafiore.it/it/
Umbrian Roast Chicken
by Diane Balch
preparation: 15 minutes cook time: 1 hour serves 4 to 6
1 3.5 to 4 pound whole chicken
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons of Extra-virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 garlic cloves minced
4 tablespoons of soft unsalted butter
1 onion halved and sliced
1 small fennel bulb halved and sliced
4 russet potatoes peeled, and cut into large cubes
2 large carrots cut into wide slices
1) Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees rack in middle.
2) Whisk together in a small bowl the EVOO, Salt, pepper, and one rosemary sprig leaves minced. Set aside.
3) In a 9" X 9" baking pan mix together with salt and pepper: potatoes, fennel, onions and carrots.
4) Dry off chicken and remove anything in the cavity.
5) Add the butter to the EVOO mixture with your hands.
6) Rub the outside and under the skin of the chicken with the butter EVOO mixture.
7) Put the chicken on top of the vegetables.
8) Heat the lemon in the microwave for 30 seconds. Cut it open and squeeze the juice over the chicken... get a little on the vegetables.
9) Put a sprig of rosemary and the squeezed lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.
10) Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the vegetables that surround the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 30 more minutes. The bird is done when a tempurature read of the the breast is between 160 and 170 degrees farienhiet.
11) Let the bird rest for 15 minutes before you carve it. Toss the vegetables add uses them as a garnish around the carved bird. Drizzle the the juices over the chicken and vegetables... serve with a white wine from Italy like Fiorifiore.
Weekly Menu Plan:
Sunday: Umbrian Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Meatless Monday: Escarole and Beans
Tuesday: Coconut Lemongrass Braised Pork with Jasmine Rice
Thursday: Go to Beef Daube
Friday: Sushi out