Monday, 13 May 2013

valli little's chicken with baby spring vegetables and pistou

I've wanted to cook one variation or another of this spring roast for years. It always appears in most of the magazines, ticking as it does the seasonality box, freshness and looking good.

The thing is Ana is less-than-keen on eating baby gem lettuce at the best of times, but she draws the line  at partially wilted baby gem lettuce. Luckily by hiding it under my thumb when I show her the picture, she doesn't notice it so we're good to go and I for one cannot wait.

Sadly as it turns out she's right though, as not only is it a wee bit pfaffy - if you're not blanching stuff, you're frying, roasting or bashing stuff up in a pestle - it's not amazingly full-flavoured given the amount of bits and bobs going on in it. At least we're using up more of the tower of cannelllini beans.

The oregano crust on the chicken legs is nice, and the pistou (it's just French pesto, fact fans) is also very tasty, but the rest is just a bit, well, bland. It's doubly disappointing as normally Valli Little does amazing recipes.

Wine Time
Okay so it's not the punchiest dish on the block, and if anything it's unexpectedly stodgy, so you'd want something with enough punch to cut through the floury pulses and pasta, as well as having some nice herbal flavours for the chicken and pistou.

I think the orzo and the pistou (okay, pesto) hold the key and lead me to bella Italia, where I reckon if you could do worse than getting hold of a really good Soave - look for one marked 'classico'. The garganega grape has plenty of lemony acidity, as well as lovely blossom notes and pear notes which should cover all bases with the dish.

chicken with baby spring vegetables and pistou - Valli Little, Delicious, May 2013, p56

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