OK, y’all can stop with your snide comments on the length of my last post (“Couldn’t read it all, had to bathe my cat,” “You know I won’t refresh my Blackberry screen more than once,” “Great American Novel,” etc.) Yeah, I got it. Too long, blah blah. This week, we go to Opposite Land, where everything is blurb-y. With headlines so you can choose to read or not. And puppies!
All right, so the puppy part is a lie. But it’s all warm and fuzzy, only no one will be licking your face…
Friday Happy Hours at ACKC
Everything at the first vine wine bar at ACKC will be half price each and every Friday from 6:00-7:30 pm. The fun starts February 5! Try a wine and chocolate pairing or two, or order a glass (or even a whole bottle) of your favorite. The Divas (delicious concoctions served up as hot chocolate, milk shakes, or ice cream treats) are also half price, so if you just don’t feel like wine, you can sugar up instead! ACKC Cocoa Bar, 1529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC.
Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Gift Packages at ACKC
We got a four-day permit from the city to sell bottles of wine just like a brick-and-mortar wine store at ACKC, and we’ve created some beautiful wine and chocolate gifts that you can actually take away with you! (All done up with wrapping and ribbon, unlike the photo here.) Next Wednesday through Saturday (February 10-13) you can pick up a lovely package of wine (red, white, or sparkling) and chocolate (complete with obligatory heart-shaped box) for $65 or $85 depending on how many chocolates you’d like. Or you can splurge a bit and go for chocolate and champagne (from first vine’s Champagne Bernard Mante, of course). Ordering ahead is available, but pickup can only be on one of those four days and only at the store. You can select the chocolates you’d like or leave the choice in ACKC’s capable hands. Check it out at ACKC, 1529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC.
Welcome Château de Roquebrune!
Last but not least — we’ve got a stupendous new wine! Château de Roquebrune is in Lalande de Pomerol, a village that has its own appellation. Located northeast of the city of Bordeaux, Lalande de Pomerol has a warm, dry climate and produces outstanding reds. Florent Guinjard is the fifth-generation family wine maker, and we’re excited to be his only U.S. importer. The 2005 is 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, made from vines that are at least 25 years old. The wine is aged in oak but just enough to enhance its best qualities. At $25 it’s not an everyday red, but we think you’ll love it – especially on these cold winter nights!
This week’s recipe comes courtesy of Florent, a honey-roasted chicken that he likes to serve with his 2005. Florent cooks the chicken on a spit over the barbecue, but I’ve given directions for removing the backbone and roasting it flat in the oven instead. Be sure to strain and cook the marinade to use it for basting, you don’t want to eat any stray raw chicken juices. And feel free to use any herb you’d like – rosemary and thyme would be good additions. Marinate the chicken in the fridge overnight, and you can have this ready in 90 minutes or so.
There, now, that wasn’t too taxing, was it? 😉
Roast Chicken with Honey
1 4-5 pound chicken, backbone removed, flattened
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, thinkly sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 whole cloves
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup white wine
10 whole peppercorns, or ¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon mild smoked paprika (sweet paprika is OK too)
- Combine the oil, onion, carrot, garlic, cloves, lemon juice, pepper, wine, and a couple of big pinches of salt in a large re-sealable plastic bag big enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken, press the air out of the bag, then seal it. Rub the chicken around to coat with the marinade, then put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge, then take it out of the bag and set it in a roasting pan (a 13 x 9 inch pan will work). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the chicken in the oven to roast.
- Meanwhile, strain the marinade to remove the solids. Take about one-third cup and bring it to a boil in a small pan. Cook for a few minutes, then add the honey and paprika.
- You’ll want to roast the chicken for an hour to an hour and a quarter, until the leg moves easily. Brush the honey mixture on the chicken after about 30 minutes of roasting, then 15 minutes later, and once again after 15 minutes. You can also check for doneness by making a small cut into the joint between the thigh and the body, the juices that come out should be yellow or clear (not pink). Or use a thermometer to make sure that the thigh meat registers 160 degrees F.
- Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes, then cut up and serve.