Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mexican Chicken in Endives and Haut Grelot

 This recipe came back with my parents after a trip to a cooking school, Hugh Carpenter's Camp in San Miguel, Mexico.  They went to the camp in early March, and since then we must have eaten this dish ten times.  It's that good.
1/2 pound of finely diced chicken thigh meat
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 serrano chili, minced, seeds included
1/2 cup of dried apricots chopped
1 whole green onion chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of sat
4 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/4 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of cooking oil (anything flavourless)
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 a lime cut into wedges
3 heads of white endives

Preparation:  Combine chicken, garlic, ginger, chiles, chopped apricots, green onion, cumin, salt and soy sauce.  Mix evenly until blended.  Let the chicken become room temperature before cooking.
In a small bowl combine orange juice, mint and cornstarch.
Cooking:  Heat a wok or large frying pan to very hot over a very high heat.  Add the oil to the pan, and when it begins to smoke, add the chicken.  Stir and toss the chicken in the pan until the chicken looses all of it's raw outside colour.
Stir the orange juice mixture and pour into the meat in the pan.  Add the toasted pine nuts and cook for 20 more seconds.  Done!
Put the chicken on a platter, arranging the endive wedges around the meat, squeeze the lime wedges and serve.

The pairing wine of choice today is the 2011 Chateau Haut-Grelot Tradition Blanc, AOC Blaye-Cotes de Bordeaux, $15.95 (Available through private import, contact This is a typical Bordeaux white blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.  Haut Grelot is small property on the Bordeaux right bank, north of St. Emilion and Libourne. It has been owned by the Bonneau family for many generations. The amazing Julien Bonneau is the winemaker and Director of, basically everything.  We studied together in Bordeaux back in the day and have been great friends ever since.  This is one of my favourite summer whites and I import about 250 cases of this wine every year to be poured and paired at some of the top restaurants throughout Ontario (Langdon Hall, George, Canoe, Ritz Carlton, Delux, Ortalon, Black Hoof, Beckta, Auberge du Pommier, to name just a few).
This is basically the missing link in Sauvignon that combines the tropical fruit profiles of New Zealand and the herbaceous profiles of the original great French Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire.  This Sauvignon is highly aromatic with grapefruit, gooseberry, melon and chervil. It is medium in weight with pure fruit cocktail fruit flavours and refreshing acidity. It is very versatile with food, and of course  great by-itself, well chilled.    

bon appetit.
dinner is served.

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