This week my husband made a delicious meal of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. He used Richard Olney’s recipe from Simple French Food and our new earthenware pot. earthenwarechickenThe olive oily broth and roasted garlic smeared onto the baguette were as delicious as the juicy and delicious chicken itself. We had the 2005 Filliatreau “La Grand Vignolle” Saumur-Champigny with the meal and I found the pairing to be perfect. The food really made the wine come alive (we hadn’t been particularly enjoying it as an aperitif before we sat down to the table). It smelled of earth and funk and rose-scented make-up (something I often pick up in Cab Franc from the Loire), and each sip was so refreshing.

There is something about Cabernet Franc and chicken…or is it Loire reds and chicken? In New York we had a habit of picking up a rotisserie chicken from Choice Market in Clinton Hill and eating it with Sancerre Rouge or Loire Gamay. Something about how chicken is sort of light, but still complex tasting, and how Loire reds are light, but aromatically complex make such a pairing a successful one!

Olney’s cookbook is a bit daunting for my kitchen stylings (e.g. easy, simple), but my husband has great success with it. It is included in the current issue of Art of Eating’s list of indispensable cookbooks. We are looking forward to working with more of the books on the list, starting with Guiliano Bugialli’s book of Neopolitan cookery! Arthur Schwartz‘s Naples at Table is akin to a bible in our house…almost every dish has become comfort food favorite, so it will be interesting to see how Bugialli competes with the Food Maven!

My wonderful little brother came down from the mountains the other day bearing gifts. A black eel squash seedling for us to plant in our backyard and a couple of biodynamically-raised rib-eye steaks. Last night we grilled up the steaks (salt, pepper, olive oil) and man, they were good! Incredibly flavorful, the essence of beef. This was my first opportunity to taste biodynamic meat, and so far, so good. It was rich and vibrant. They were from the Decatur farm up in Covelo, Mendicino County. We opened a bottle of Anjou Rouge from Chateau Soucherie (served slightly chilled) and the tannic bite and earthy richness of the Cabernet Franc went very well with these excellent steaks. Swiss chard and brown rice completed the meal. Very satisfying!