A few weeks back, a client kindly gave me a bottle of Gewurztraminer he had picked up in the Anderson Valley. He claimed it was as close to an authentic French Gewurztraminer as he’s ever tasted in the United States so I wanted to make sure that I paired it with something that would do it justice. I knew I wanted to pair it with something with a little spice.
Gewürztraminers are somewhat similar to Rieslings in what you can pair along side of them and since I tend to pair Rieslings with spicy Thai, I figured, what the heck, lets pair this with a creole dish.
I’ve always had a love for cajun cooking; the spices, the flavors, the smell of the kitchen when it’s being cooked. I melt like butter just thinking about a delicious pot of jambalaya. Since my husband is a bit of a wuss when it comes to spices, I’ve had to gradually increase the heat, starting with mild recipes and slowly upping the ante.
My husband is a notoriously picky eater and he devoured this meal. There’s a certain sweetness when you first put it into your mouth, which builds to a subtle spiciness with a hint of smoke from the paprika. The sauce alone was quite delicious, so if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to sauté the chicken, you can most likely get away with putting together the sauce and serving it over rice.
- 3 pounds chicken (I used two half chickens plus two bone-in breasts), seasoned to your liking with salt and pepper
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 stick of butter + 3 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
- 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cups chicken stock plus 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic plus a teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
For the seasoning: (adjust to your own liking or use a cajun seasoning from the store)
- 5 tablespoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
Serve over rice.
In a dutch oven over medium heat, add the stock, tomato sauce, thyme, basil, bay leaves, brown sugar, lemon slices and your seasoning. Bring to a boil and turn to low/simmer.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 6 tablespoons of the butter and the flour. Whisk until lightly browned and thickened. We suggest pre-heating your pan and once it's hot, add your butter and flour. Stir it periodically so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. Once it's a tad brown, add your onions, celery and garlic. Sauté until they begin to turn transparent. Add to the liquid mixture.
Melt the 3 tablespoons butter and add your chicken. Cook covered until the meat is tender and cooked through (make sure to flip your pieces over so nothing turns crispy!). Add to the liquid mixture, along with any of the juices.
Add the parsley and green onions and cook for 15 minutes more.
Suggested Wine Pairing
Try a Gewürztraminer or a Riesling with this dish. This particular Gewürztraminer is on the drier side of the spectrum but already has a hint of spice on its own, which really paired well with the seasoning from the Chicken Creole. Make sure to serve it cold (right out of the fridge) and not out a plastic cup—you will get a flavor transfer with this wine.
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