Serving a rustic chicken dish with a sparkling rosé is an easy way to transform a weeknight dinner into a deluxe affair, said Ray Isle and Marcia Kiesel in Food & Wine. Like Champagne, sparkling rosés “are great with all kinds of food, but they’re simpler, fruitier, more easygoing.” This dish, with its rich Mediterranean flavors, goes especially well with a robust sparkling rosé wine such as Schramsberg’s Mirabelle Brut ($25). Luscious cheese grits, in place of mashed potatoes, make for an “alluring side dish.”
Recipe of the week
Chicken With Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Creamy Cheese Grits
8 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large rosemary sprigs
One 3½-pound chicken
2 white onions, cut into wedges
½ cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the tomatoes cut side down and scatter the rosemary around; bake on bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until very soft and starting to brown. Let cool, then discard the skins. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, rub the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the onion wedges around the chicken, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken and onions in the upper third of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Add the wine to the pan and roast the chicken for about 20 minutes longer, until onions are well browned, chicken is golden, and cavity juices run clear. Pour the cavity juices into the pan, then transfer the chicken and onions to a platter; let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Set the roasting pan over moderately high heat and add 4 of the tomato halves and ½ cup of water. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits and mashing the tomatoes, until reduced by one-third. Strain the jus into a saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and serve with the tomatoes, onions, tomato jus, and Creamy Cheese Grits. Serves 4.
Creamy Cheese Grits
5½ cups water
1½ cups stone-ground grits
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the grits. Cover and cook over low heat, whisking often, until the grits are thick and just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve.