Garam Masala-crusted Chicken with Fig Jus

GARAM MASALA:roasted-chicken-recipe
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
• 1/4 cup coriander seeds
• 1/4 cup cardamom pods, seeds removed
• 1 bay leaf
• Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
• 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
• 2 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Finely grind the whole spices in batches in a spice grinder. Transfer each batch to a coarse strainer set over a bowl. Sift the ground spices into the bowl and add the mace, ginger and nutmeg. Whisk to blend. (Garam masala can be stored in a tightly sealed jar in a cool, dry place

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon garam masala
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• Two 3 1/2-pound chickens
• Salt
• 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
• 8 garlic cloves
• 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
• 4 dried Black Mission figs, stemmed and quartered
• 1/4 cup honey
• Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, mix the garam masala with the oil. In a roasting pan, rub the chickens all over with the garam masala oil and season with salt. Roast the chickens for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting twice. Return the oven temperature to 450°F and crisp. Transfer the chickens to a carving board and let them rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the garlic and tamarind paste and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the garlic is very soft, about 40 minutes. Strain the stock through a coarse sieve and press the garlic through. Stir in the figs and honey, cover and let steep until the figs are
tender, about 10 minutes. Carve the chicken. Reheat the fig jus, season with salt and pepper and serve with the chicken. Makes 4 servings. Recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com

Carnelian_Grenache_wineThe Carnelian Project
FruityGrenache
McLaren Vale, Australia

The McLaren Vale wine region is blessed with a wonderful climate for viticulture. It is located just south of Adelaide in South Australia. McLaren Vale is the Grenache stronghold of Australia. Quite a few of the older plantings of this fine variety survived the vine pull schemes of the 1980’s and are now regarded as living treasures. The fruit for this wine is considered such a treasure – sourced from two 40+ year old vineyards, the fruit was low yielding, concentrating flavors. Grenache is an excellent pairing for complex, spicy and earthy dishes as its bright fruit forward character and mild tannin structure balance the contrast of flavors. We chose a spice rubbed chicken with fig and honey as an inspired pairing for this wine.

DougFrost“A bright and fruity wine comprised of red raspberries and strawberries, with just a touch of black pepper and notes of mint and basil too. The oak notes creep up in the finish: toasty, even slightly chocolately.” – Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Winemaker: Douglas Danielak
Appellation: McLaren Vale, Australia
Varietal Blend:  100% Grenache
Analysis: 14.8% alc/vol

Summer Wine Tips

DougFrostInterview with Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier

What wines or sparkling wines do you advise people to select to enjoy over the summer?
First off, I always insist that people should drink whatever they like, and stop worrying about the “right” wine, whatever that is. As the temperature rises, most are thinking of cool, refreshing drinks, and that leaves lots of wine options. For reasonably priced bubbly, Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain have been the go-to wines for years. I’m a big German wine fan, and I go through lots of German Rieslings during the summer. The tangy, incipient tartness of Riesling is ideal for a touch of fruity sweetness. When you add that to spicy foods and even tangy BBQ sauces, it’s a surprisingly adept grape.

What white wines do you suggest to pair with popular summertime dishes?
If people use lighter vinaigrettes for their salads, crisp and tangy wines are just ideal. Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino and many Italian white wines make a lovely marriage, especially when you toss some grilled shrimp, fish or chicken on top of the salad.
Grill marks have a certain bitterness, even when they appear on grilled vegetables. Try either a fruity wine to offset the grill marks and the smoke (something fruity like Beaujolais, Dolcetto or Barbera) or use a wine that has a bit of bitterness, like more astringent Italian reds (Sagrantino, Sangiovese or Nebbiolo).

What are your tips for storing wine during the summer months?
Make sure never to leave wine bottles in a hot car. Heat can damage a wine in only a few minutes. If it’s too warm to leave your beloved pet in the car, don’t leave your favorite bottle of wine, either.