25 November, 2013

Put the "sun" in your Sunday supper with Assyrtiko

Cold weather is here and I love to start the week with a slow-cooked Sunday crock-pot dish. And of course, I pair it with a great bottle of wine. To warm up my chilly Sunday I adapted a recipe for Chicken thighs Avgolemno. Avgolemono is a traditional Greek sauce of egg (avgo) and lemon (lemono). What inspired me to make it was a lovely bottle of Assyrtiko chilling in my fridge just waiting to be drunk. 

Assyrtiko is a grape hailing from the island of Santorini which is made into a dry white wine. The bottle I used was the 2011 Atlantis from Argyros Estate. It is a blend of three white grape varieties: 90% Assyrtiko, 5% Aidani and 5% Athiri which are all indigenous to Santorini. I describe the wine as light, lemony and lively with hints of minerality on the nose and palate. Crisp with good acidity. It is a magical pairing with the flavor profile of the succulent chicken stew which has fresh dill, lemon juice, feta cheese and artichoke hearts.

I found this recipe on the Eating Well website and tweaked it a bit. I used a 6 qt. slow cooker which was just the right size. Sprinkling it with Feta cheese at the end adds a tangy note.

1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces, or 3 cups baby carrots
1 pound (3-4 medium) yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch-wide wedges
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup Assyrtiko or any other dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered if large
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Feta cheese

Spread carrots and potatoes over the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top of the vegetables. Bring broth, wine, garlic and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low.
Add artichokes to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover and cook, whisking 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened and sauce reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in dill and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables sprinkle the feta and serve.
Per serving: 355 calories; 11 g fat ( 3 g sat , 4 g mono ); 199 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 34 g protein; 4 g fiber; 629 mg sodium; 531 mg potassium.

I can find this wine in the Bay Area at Du Vin Fine Wines of Alameda and at K&L Wine Merchants. I'm sure your local wine merchant can order this wine just for you. Happy Eating and Happy Drinking!