Wine & Food Pairings
Chicken Milanese With Lemon Basil Compound Butter And Topped With An Arugula Salad: Served with Melville Estate Verna's Chardonnay
Chicken Milanese With Lemon Basil Compound Butter And Topped With An Arugula Salad
Lemon Basil Compound Butter
½ # butter
1.5 ounces Fresh Basil, de-stemmed
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
In food processor, combine basil, zest, lemon juice and puree, then add butter and pulse till combined. Adjust lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Freeze for at least one hour
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 quart bread crumbs (preferably homemade)
2 ounces chopped parsley
1 cup all purpose flour
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup oil
Cut the breasts into halves, and trim away any cartilage or visible fat. Lay the chicken pieces out on plastic wrap, cover with another sheet of plastic, and pound to about 1/3 inch thick. If you don't have a classic meat pounder, use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle).
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set out three shallow bowls. Put the flour in one; beat the eggs in the second, then combine lemon zest, bread crumbs, parmesan, red pepper flakes and chopped parsley in the third. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and pat them, so you have just a thin dusting of flour. Then dip in the egg wash and dangle the chicken over the bowl to let the excess drip off. Finally, coat the chicken in the crumbs, pressing well to get a good coating. As you finish breading, put the chicken on a rack. You can prep the chicken this far a few hours in advance. Set the rack on a baking sheet, cover loosely with wax paper, and refrigerate.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and fill with about 1/3 inch oil. Heat until the oil is shimmering. Fry the chicken 2 pieces at a time — no crowding — until golden brown on each side, and drain on another rack set over a baking sheet. Chicken should be a internal temp of 165 degrees. If chicken is not 165 degrees, bake at 300 degrees to finish.
6 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice to desired taste.
Pinch of salt.
Parsley or other fresh herb for garnish.
For plate up:
In small bowl combine arugula with olive oil and desired amount of lemon juice and toss with a pinch of salt. Mound ½ on each plate reserving room for the chicken. Place chicken pieces down and slice compound butter into ½ inch slices.
Place one disc on each chicken breast and garnish with desired herb.
Melville Estate Verna's Chardonnay
What is in a place? For humans, a place of birth represents heritage, customs, climate, cuisine, music and soul. The same is true for wine. A wine from Bordeaux represents a particular history of winemaking, culture, soil, weather, tradition, specific grape varietals and taste - all which combine to make the soul of the wine. Some wine is more easily distinguished than other. And for the last year or so, I have been trying hard to find unique and eclectic wine. But the fact is, At Joy Wine and Spirits, we still sell a lot of California Chardonnay – which has been getting a bad rap. Like the food of a chain restaurant in Colorado, Iowa or Alaska, the bulk of California tastes the same. But there is still some soul left in Chardonnay and this month I wanted to present one of the exquisite California Chardonnay with some soul.
Melville’s beautiful winery is nestled at the foot of the Santa Rita Hills AVA, surrounded by the hills and rows of vines. This AVA (American Viticulture Area) was designated in 2001 and encompasses only about 100 square miles. The area is very unique in that although one of the most southern viticultural areas in California, the mountains are situated east to west. This allows the cool fog and strong winds off the Pacific to funnel through to these vineyards. Even in summer the temperatures in the Santa Rita Hills, which rise in the western part of the valley, rarely top 70 degrees and fall as low as 45 on summer evenings. This results in a much longer growing season and “hang time” for the grapes, (up to 30 percent longer than in Napa) which (debatably) allows for more intensity of flavor, concentration of flavor and brighter acidity. Melville concentrates most of its wines to specific places, small lots of land … designated vineyards, like Carries and Verna’s. Each vineyard is crushed, vinified and aged separately from the others. In some cases, Melville even isolates different clones from specific plots for a rare bottling. Lining the wines up and tasting them separately is an educational and fun experience.
“The Verna’s Chardonnay comes from the Los Alamos vineyard and is aged in neutral oak. Wine critic, Stephen Tanzer, describes the wine as, “Bright yellow. Very fresh aromas and flavors of lime, pear, powdered stone, anise and saffron. Deep, sappy and bracing, combining excellent density and fine-grained texture with superb cut. Impressively pure on the incisive finish, which really grips the palate. Offers lovely lingering perfume and outstanding clarity.
Verna’s Chardonnay is 100% Melville’s Los Alamos estate and is a combination of clones 4, 76, 95, 96 and selections Mount Eden and Hudson. Like the Sta. Rita Hills vineyards, Verna’s location directly north also endures very windy conditions and is planted on extremely sandy and porous soils. The main difference between the two ranches is that Verna’s has slightly younger vines and the average daily temperatures are 3 degrees to 7degrees warmer or colder on a daily basis. Fruit was harvested by hand then gently whole-cluster pressed, cold settled overnight and transferred by gravity to barrel for fermentation in neutral (5 to 12 year old French oak), partial malolactic (±10%) and subsequent sur lie aging without any lees disturbance. Yields were 3.8 tons/acre. 13.9% alcohol.
Melville’s Verna’s Chardonnay is not the ultra rich, buttery, oakey, California Chardonnay of which many consumers have tired. The cool climate, the sandy soil and the gentle but deliberate wine making approach by owner Ron Melville and winemaker Greg Brewer produce a wine with a sense of place, balanced acidity, texture and purity of flavor … a wine with soul. This and many other soulful wines are available at Joy Wine and Spirits. 1302 E 6th Avenue. 303-744-6219