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  • Carlos Sarmiento

Spinach and garlic-herbed goat cheese stuffed hasselback baked chicken & mushroom medley toast

A provincial French-influenced repast that will awaken the senses.


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


In continuing our culinary and oenophilic exploration of the Burgundy region of France, I have quickly discovered how amazing their wines are when paired with simply prepared dishes.

The true secret is using the most freshest herbs and key spices to compliment the main ingredients...and the wine.


Today’s wine pairing enlists a formidable Bourgogne Blanc (white burgundy), a native wine from the township of Beaune, the capital of Burgundy, in the Côte d'Or department in eastern France. It is located between Lyon and Dijon who are one of the most gastronomic cities in the region, let alone the country.


(Photo: Saul Mercado)

Beaune serves as one of the key wine centers in France, and the heart of Burgundy wine production and business.

The town is surrounded by some of the world's most famous wine villages, while most of the facilities and cellars of many producers, are located in the historic center of Beaune itself, as they have been since Roman times.


(Photo: Nadeykina Evgeniya)


White burgundies are made from Chardonnay grapes, the world’s most popular white grape. Bourgogne Blancs, such as the one I am pairing these dishes with, are often considered the ultimate French Chardonnay.


This “gold standard” of fine white wines is all due to the unmatched combination of climate, land and generational wine-making traditions that sets them apart from the rest.


Let’s put it to the test!


Let’s get cooking!


Menu:

Spinach and Garlic-Herbed goat cheese hasselback baked chicken & mushroom medley toast with arugula garnish salad with raspberry jam vinaigrette


Wine pairing:

2018 - Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc

(Beaune, Burgundy - France)


Serves 2-4


Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 2 large chicken breasts (approx 1.5 lbs)

  • 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 3 cups fresh spinach

  • 1/2 cup of crumbled herbed goat cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage

  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

  • sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste


Mushroom toast:

  • Baguette bread, sliced in 1-inch thick rounds

  • 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms (ideally a medley consisting of baby bella, shiitake, oyster mushrooms), sliced

  • 1 cup of fresh spinach

  • 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil for cooking

  • some extra Virgin olive oil for drizzling

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • Zest of one lemon

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup of white wine

  • sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper


Garnish salad:

  • 2 cups of fresh arugula

  • 2 tablespoons of raspberry preserve

  • 1/4 cup of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar from Modena

Directions:

Chicken:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil, set aside.

  • In a large skillet add olive oil and cook spinach over medium until slightly wilted (approx. 3-5 min). Add crumbled goat cheese and continue to cook until cheese is melted (about 1 min).Stir in red pepper flakes. Set aside.

  • Place chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut slits across the chicken breast about 3/4 of the way through chicken breast (careful not to cut all the way through) about 3/4 inches apart. Stuff each slit with spinach/goat cheese mixture.

  • Generously salt and pepper top of chicken breast and season with nutmeg, paprika and sage.

  • Place chicken breasts in the oven and bake for 20-25 min. I also recommend switching oven from bake to broil for the last 10 min. of cooking.


Mushroom toast:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Arrange sliced bread rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle some olive oil on top of each round. Place bread in oven until lightly toasted (10-15 mins max)

  • In a medium-sized pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add wine and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until wine gas almost evaporated, stir occasionally. Add lemon zest and stir again.

  • Add spinach and cook until wilted.

  • Add thyme, sage, salt & pepper (to taste) and a light drizzle of olive oil and stir. Let mushroom mixture cook on low for an additional 3 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.


Garnish salad:

  • Add oil, raspberry preserves, and balsamic vinegar in a jar, close tightly and shake well.

  • Place arugula in a mixing bowl. Lightly drizzle some (not all) of the vinaigrette on the arugula. Toss to ensure arugula has been coated with the vinaigrette. If necessary, add a little more vinaigrette until fully coated.

Serve it up!

Chicken & salad:

Place one chicken breast per plate, garnishing with a generous heap of the salad.


Mushroom toast:

Arrange toasts on serving platter, single layer. Carefully spoon mushroom medley mixture on top of each bread round.

Bon Appetit! Enjoy!


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



About the wine...

Special thanks to my friends at Kobrand Wines & Spirits and Louis Jadot USA for their wonderful contribution of this one-of-a-kind Bourgogne Blanc.


2018 - Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc

(Beaune, Burgundy - France)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Blanc is vinified and blended from 100% Chardonnay grapes selected from quality growers in the Côte d’Or and the Côte Mâconnais. Made in a more full-bodied and structured style than Jadot’s Chardonnay, the wine is partially fermented and aged in oak casks for about 8 months to add a rich, round character.

Grapes: 100% Chardonnay


Taste: With fresh floral aromas, the wine shows elegant, rich fruit on the palate. This is one of the purest expressions of Chardonnay in Burgundy.


Food pairing: Pairs with vegetable terrines, poultry & goat cheese.


Distinction: Regional appellation wine with a texture and age that shows more complexity than is normally found at this level. It can challenge some village appellation wines.


For more information on Louis Jadot wines, visit: https://lovejadot.com and https://m.kobrandwineandspirits.com


Decorative wine drip collar by: https://dripstosips.com

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)


(Photo: Tom Morel)



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