Sunday, May 15, 2011

French Style Chicken Thigh and Oregon Pinot Noir

If you've ever read this blog, you know I'm a fan of chicken thighs.  Braised, roasted, grilled...doesn't really matter.  They're dirt cheap, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious. 

The problem is, until you learn the secret of cooking these little jewels, they will taste fatty, possibly a little chewy, and wouldn't be a meal you'd actually look forward to, much less consider serving to guests.  But with a little proper seasoning, then searing to golden brown in a little EVOO, and then finished by roasting on 400 until virtually all traces of fat are gone (about 30-35 minutes) and the only thing that remains of the otherwise humble chicken thigh is truly a thing of beauty: a lean, juicy piece of meat with a crispy, flavorful golden crust.   And let me just tell you, I'd proudly serve this to any guest.  Exposing the bone, just so you know, is actually of little consequence but it does make the presentation much nicer and the thigh considerably easier to eat.

On a related note, I've been exploring wines from small scale vineyards producing high quality wines at a reasonable price.  Cherry Hill Winery is one such example.  They're relatively new to the scene and are located about an hour south of Portland in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  The winery is about 90 acres and as you might expect, they produce a great little Pinot Noir.  They also produce Pinot Gris, Poverty Road, and a Pinot Noir Dry Rosé, Vanda.  Check it out if you're a fan of Oregan Pinot.  Scale of 1-10 with 10 being best, I'd say this wine is about an 8 at the $20-25 price point.


  1. I have a bad habit of reading blogs when I am hungry -- now to the freezer to defrost some chicken

  2. No kidding about the reading when hungry thing, Dustin!

    I'm going to have to try the sear/roasting combination...thighs have always confused me!

  3. I like the idea of your blog. I've signed up to follow it. Besides the outdoors, cooking is a passion of mine too.

  4. Erin, you'll be thrilled with the result. I recommend a simple approach to seasoning here. Kosher salt, fresh grind of mixed peppercorn, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Squeeze of lemon before roasting just to brighten things up a bit. You could also garnish with a little lemon thyme if you wanted to be fancy.

    JGR - thanks for the follow and welcome, bro!