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Lewes, Delaware
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May 29, 2015     Cape Gazette
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May 29, 2015
 

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Ca e Gazette FRIDAY, MAY 29 - MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015 10~) When you think of chicken salad, what do you imagine? I'm a mayonnaise fan, so my favor- ite version is creamy and rich. Sometimes I'm persuaded to try a bowl of greens topped with a grilled chicken breast, but I don't really consider it chicken salad. I have a few other opinions about chicken salad. It's best when made with leftover roast- ed or rotisserie chicken, which impart subtle hints of herbs or heat-infused flavor. The. only part of the chicken that belongs in chicken salad is white meat. Be sure to avoid the dark or semi-dark sections of the bird and remove any strands of rub- bery tendon, pieces of under- cooked skin and yellow blobs of fat. While I don't mind additions like grapes or walnuts to add texture, there's no need to coat the nuts in sugar - this isn't breakfast. Since the chicken is a quiet ingredient - in color and taste - some snipped chives, green onion or capers can im- prove both. As for mayonnaise, it depends on what your mother kept in your childhood refrigerator; in our house it was always Hell- man's. Some of you might be devoted to Miracle Whip, and my friend Marie is partial to blending her own mayo from fresh eggs and high-quality olive oil. Ordering chicken salad at a restaurant, dell or gas sta- tion can be risky. Restaurants often try to experiment, adding sesame seeds, cream cheese or garbanzo beans. Many grocer- ies and deli counters purchase industrial-size containers of chicken salad which feature sweet pickle relish. Some supermarkets offer what they label as "storemade rotisserie chicken salad." Since I'm assuming the main in- gredient is leftover rotisserie birds they didn't sell the day before, I'm a bit leery of these. lust think how much time has passed since that chicken was originally cooked. The labels on prepackaged CHICKEN SALAD made with whole-grain mustard. chicken salad sold at gas station convenience marts may have a surprise ingredient: bread crumbs. This gummy mess, mixed with chicken meat that has been shredded beyond recognition, creates an unusual texture that's almost like eating ground chicken paste. If you're going to make chicken salad and don't have any leftover white meat from a roasted bird, you can use boneless breasts. Many recipes instruct you to poach them, but you'll have to be very careful not to overcook them and focus on extra seasonings to build flavor. Another option to ensure the white meat is flavorful before building your salad is to generously season the boneless breasts with salt and pepper. Cook them in a skillet with a splash of olive oil just until cooked through, as we did with the chicken in the photo. This version of chicken salad started its life as a Blue Apron meal-in-a-box delivery. After the ingredients spent a week in the refrigerator, we started making changes, including skip- JACK CLEMONS PHOTO ping the rhubarb and not poach- ing the chicken but sauteing it instead. I've included recipes for a few different chicken salads - one with mayonnaise and capers, a curried version and the one in the photo dressed with whole- grain mustard. Or, you can buy some at your favorite gas station. Simple Chicken Salad 2 C cooked white meat chicken* 1 celery stalk 3 scallions Continued on page 106 S s promised, this week brings more Ros6. First I would like to toss in a plug for Nassau Valley Vine- yards and a big congratulation to wine maker Mike Reese for winning their fn'st two gold medals of the 2015 vetting season. Way to go Suzanne and Peggy! NVV brought wine to the Delaware coast in a big way. If by chance you haven't visited the winery, let me say you are missing a fine opportunity. In addition to a well-run vine- yard and winery, these women have established an art gap lery, a lovely venue for parties and weddings, plus a series of events that revolve around wine. You owe it to yourselves to take a spin up to their tasting room, especially this month, to enjoy the gallery featuring Coastal Camera Club's exhibit, sample some award-winning wine and take advantage of their sale with a substantial discount on mixed or full cases; i.e., a case of Laurel's Red would set you back about $144. Let's lead off the Ros6s this week with NVV's Cape Ros 2012. This is French dry style Ros6. The strawberry fruit forward nose sets up your brain to think "sweet" but the palate immediately differentiates the lovely clean acid profile that balances the fruit. An excellent food wine to complement our fresh local seafood or a summer tomato bisque or corn chowder, or maybe just to sip while swing- ing in your hammock. Careful, though, wear a bib or an old shirt. With the current sale you could grab a case for around $15/bottle. By the way, the name of that cute little kiddy apron, bib, originated from the days when winos were called tipplers and bibbers. The gluttonous among them often spilled from their trenchers (chunks of bread used as eating utensils in Europe until the 1600s), flagons and goblets. These sloppy eating habits also gave rise to the necktie. Many may find it odd that although forks were in use as cooking implements, Europeans did not employ them as eating utensils until centuries after the Orientals, It is claimed Cath- erine De Medici introduced widespread use of the fork to European nobility. The hoi pol- loi used their hands or tren- chers, even for sopping soup (supper), and also used knives. The upper crust men carried knives to cut and spear meat and in most cases cut it for the ladies at table, as well. Hoisting a small joint and gnawing from it was also con- sidered mannerly. Fork derives from Furca, the Latin for pitch- fork, so we know the concept was around. Etymologists claim the lack of metal and foundries prevented their adoption rather than ig- norance. I think the enjoyment of grabbing a joint drove it. No, you evil-minded loyal readers, I'm referring to fib, burger and taco joints. Mirabeau Ros 2014, from Provence, is pretty pink. It opens to raspberry and cherry, then continues the cherry through a creamy but clean, long finish. When bought under $16, 88 points. Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corall Ros 20B was rated 89 by Tanzer. Most of the others treated it more roughly, in the low to mid 80s. Stephen knows his stuff, folks. This is a bargain around $20. The 2014 not so much. The 2012 vintage was wiped out by a devastating hailstorm. Surrounding vignerons gave him grapes and/or juice, and the vintage was blended and released as CdR Grele Ros 2012. Who said the French were tightwads? Grele is a blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Merlot, Cab, Syrah and Rolle. Pale orange colored, it has lovely aromas of orange zest and strawberries with floral notes and chalky minerality. On the palate, look for citrus and strawberry balanced by appro priate acidity through a pleas- ing, spicy, finish that repeats the flowers and minerality. This is " a good story, and it is too bad the wine won't cellar 15 years. A real example of winemakers' art, and good fellowship. Email John McDonald at chjonrnc@yahoo.~ ,: com.