Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue

[This post is brought to you by yours truly and the wonderful folks at Drizly, who are making delicious cocktails possible for everyone without the hassle of going to a grocery store. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting CaliGirl Cooking and my sponsors!]

We have two reasons to be celebrating today! And we’re going to celebrate with a Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail.

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

REason #1

It’s Friday! Hallelujah. It’s been a long, weird week and I’m looking forward to some nice down time and relaxation this weekend. I’ve got some great beach volleyball games planned and other than that we’ll be laying reallll low (not like we have much of a choice with the hubby laid up with his healing Achilles 😉 That’s a-ok with me, though. I’m such a constant busy-body that sometimes it’s good for me to be forced to just sit down, relax, and not be doing anything. Can anyone else sympathize with me here?

Reason #2

I literally am so, so excited to share this Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail with you. I know I make cocktails for you every week, but every once in a while there’s one that comes along that just knocks my socks off and I get incredibly anxious to get the recipe out to you so you can start making it for yourself ASAP. This is FOR SURE one of those cocktails. It killed me that the hubs couldn’t taste it because he would be so proud. (He’s taking a little break from drinking while he’s on his after-surgery pain meds…good plan!)

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

When the folks at Drizly asked me to create a recipe for them, my mind immediately went towards creating a cocktail that would both celebrate the last few days of summer, but also welcome in fall with open arms. I thought a combination of blueberry (a very summer-y fruit) would pair deliciously with a heavier, more cool weather-inclined liquor. Enter bourbon! And, more specifically, Bulleit Bourbon (because that’s certainly our household favorite…What’s yours?)

But of course I couldn’t stop there. We needed to jazz this up even more for our friends at Drizly. Good thing they also have an incredible selection of bitters, mixers, etc. in addition to alcohol on their site, because I was easily able to pick out the Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters as the perfect addition to my blueberry and bourbon cocktail. The final touch was a vanilla-almond simple syrup, which I whipped up quickly on my own and have included the recipe for below.

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

I bet at this point (unless you’ve clicked on the link I’ve included above) you’re wondering what exactly this Drizly thing is. Well, friends, let me tell you, because it’s amazing. Basically, if you live in one of 18 major cities in the United States and Canada (and you’re of legal drinking age, of course), you can go to Drizly’s website, place an order, and have wine, beer, liquor and other cocktail ingredients delivered right to your door in under an hour. How sweet is that? I am so bummed they’re not in Santa Barbara….yet. (Hint hint.)

In Their Own Words:

“Drizly is the technology company powering a superior shopping experience for beer, wine and liquor. Combining the best selection and price, content-rich and personalized shopping experiences, and the speed and convenience of on-demand delivery, Drizly delivers “The Joy of Drinking” to legal-age drinkers across the United States.”

So as you can imagine, this was right up my alley and I was beyond stoked to partner with them to whip up this delicious Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail. Let’s get back to the whole process, shall we?

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

The first step you’ll want to take is to whip up the vanilla-almond simple syrup. This can be done an hour or so in advance of you making the cocktail, or you can even make it a day or two in advance (it will come in useful for so many delicious cocktails!) The most important thing is to have time to let the syrup cool before you add it to your drink.

Once you have your vanilla-almond simple syrup in hand, the rest is easy. You’ll just need to muddle together the syrup, some fresh blueberries, fresh lemon juice and rhubarb bitters, add a healthy scoop of ice, and top it all with your Bulleit bourbon. Give it a little stir and enjoy immediately.

I’m just going to call it right now: This cocktail will probably turn into your go-to for the next couple of months. It strikes that super-fine balance between the fresh flavors of summer and the warm, comforting flavors of fall. The juiciness of the blueberries and the acidity of the fresh lemon juice balance the earthy rhubarb bitters and sweet vanilla-almond simple syrup PERFECTLY. It’s fairly strong for a cocktail, but you’d never notice it if you didn’t look at the recipe. The natural sweetness from the blueberries is the perfect veil for the strong bourbon flavor, and (when enjoyed moderately) this cocktail won’t leave you with a raging headache the next day (no thank you, artificial sweeteners!)

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

Trust me, the end of summer never tasted so good!

Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue

10 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

This end-of-summer cocktail combines fresh blueberries, rhubarb bitters, vanilla-almond simple syrup and bourbon to create a perfectly balanced drink.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 ounce vanilla-almond simple syrup (recipe below)
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce rhubarb bitters
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Bulleit bourbon

Instructions

  1. Combine blueberries, simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass. Muddle together until all of the blueberries are broken up and the mixture takes on a bright purple-pink hue.
  2. Fill the glass all the way to the top with ice.
  3. Top with bourbon and stir gently to combine.
  4. Enjoy immediately!

Notes

To make the Vanilla-Almond Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, the seeds from ½ a vanilla bean and about 2 drops of almond flavoring in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

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Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

You had me at bourbon <3

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Whisky Gravlax (Cold Cured Salmon)

Say what???

Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

You heard me right. Whisky. Gravlax.

So here’s the deal. I LOVE smoked salmon, and it has been on my “To Do” list to make for quite some time now. Now that we’re back from our honeymoon and I’m settling a bit more into being self-employed and working from home, I figured it was finally time to man up and try my hand at making the darn thing!

Small side note: Does anyone else find themselves with grand ambitions to try their hand at something new and somewhat challenging “someday”? I have to admit I’m so guilty of this, so I try to make a conscious effort to actually TRY these new things at some point because, you know what? Usually they’re wayyyyy easier to make than I ever imagined! So, do yourself a favor and make yourself a “Cooking Projects for a Rainy Day” Pinterest board (yep, I have one, and you can follow it here) and start checking some things off your list. If I can do it, so can you. We’re going to conquer our kitchen fears and hesitations together!

Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

But back to my mission to make homemade smoked salmon and my final decision to make Whisky Gravlax instead. There was one small hiccup in my grand smoked salmon plans: This gal doesn’t own a smoker. Nope, CaliGirl Cooking has not ventured into that world yet (although my husband would probably love me even more if I did 😉 But was I going to let that stop me? No way, Jose. After further researching my non-smoker options on the web, I realized that what I really needed to be making in my particular situation was gravlax. It turns out, “gravlax” was traditionally buried (“grav” as in grave in the ground) under a bed of salt, sugar and herbs. While I wouldn’t be burying my salmon in the ground, I could definitely handle packing it under layers and layers of a sugary-salty-herb mixture.

I also wanted to make a fairly quick version of the dish (at least in smoked or “cured” salmon terms), which meant 24-36 hours MAX. Luckily, I came across this recipe for gravlax that The Minimalist wrote for The New York Times way back in 1998 that I largely based the recipe you’ll find here off of (after my first failed attempt, that is…I think I had about two days’ worth of my sodium intake in my one-ounce taste of that first batch….ick…you live, you learn!)

So, I had the base to my gravlax recipe, but I was still anxious for at least a little bit of that “smoky” taste you get from real smoked salmon. I noticed that a lot of the classic gravlax recipes use a tiny amount of vodka, so in order to get my smoke on, I decided to snag some of the hubby’s super-smoky whisky (in this case I used Ardbeg 10-Year) and use that instead of the vodka. I can’t drink the darn stuff (it feels too much like I’ve just smoked an entire cigar) but I could certainly use it to flavor up my gravlax a little bit…Whisky Gravlax was born!

Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

Onwards I went. I got a lovely two-pound piece of salmon filet (the guy at the seafood counter only looked at me slightly funny when I came in for a two-pound filet two days in a row) and drizzled on a couple of tablespoons of the smoky whisky. I then proceeded to pack the filet in a heavy coating of sugar, salt and dried dill and wrap it up as tightly as I could in saran wrap to sit overnight in the refrigerator. It still leaked all over the place and I was faced with massive cleanup the next morning. (This was after I found maggots in our trash can…..GROSS! And had already spent a good half hour cleaning those up and hosing the entire can down…Yes, it was one of those mornings…And I hadn’t even had my coffee yet!)

Note to those of you out there anxious to try this recipe: Just put your saran-wrapped salmon filet in a shallow baking dish when you put it in the refrigerator and you’ll be golden. No messy whisky-smelling fish juice for you to clean up the next day. You’re welcome.

Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

I’m happy to report that my second attempt at homemade Whisky Gravlax was a success! And really not hard at all. Seriously. We’re talking less than 15 minutes of prep, set it and forget it overnight in the refrigerator, and the next morning you better run out and get fresh bagels and cream cheese because you’re GOING to want to dig into this Whisky Gravlax as soon as you pull it out and rinse off its sugar-salt-dill coating.

Now what are you waiting for? You only have one more day to go out and buy your salmon before you can have this deliciousness ready to go for an easy, lazy Saturday morning breakfast! Oh, and don’t forget the mimosas 🙂

Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

Whisky Gravlax (Cold Cured Salmon)

15 minutes

Cook Time: 24 hours

Total Time: 24 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 8-10 servings

3-4 ounces per person

An easy recipe for cold cured salmon using the classic salt, sugar and herb mixture and smoky whisky as the secret ingredient.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds salmon filet
  • 2 tablespoons whisky (as smoky as you can find, I used Ardbeg 10-Year)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill (or one bunch of fresh dill)

Instructions

  1. Place salmon filet skin side down on a large piece of plastic wrap. Drizzle whisky evenly over salmon filet.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine salt, sugar and dill. Pour over salmon filet and pack it on as much as you can (there will be A LOT of this mixture, and you’ll want to be sure to use it all!)
  3. Wrap filet in plastic wrap and place in a shallow baking dish in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours.
  4. Remove filet from the refrigerator and rinse off the excess sugar-salt-dill mixture. Slice thinly to serve.

Notes

Wine Pairing Note: This Whisky Gravlax would pair perfectly with a lightly oaked chardonnay. The smoky flavor from the whisky will balance nicely with the soft buttery-ness of the oak, and salmon is a natural pairing for all chardonnay. BUT, if you’re serving the smoked salmon for breakfast, there’s no better way to pair this dish than with a mimosa!

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Whisky Gravlax | CaliGirl Cooking

Oh heyyyyyyy…

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Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese

We’re doing this season right with allll of the late summer flavors.

Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

And this Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese is helping us get there.

It seems like now that I don’t have wedding planning taking over every spare second of every day, my eyes have finally opened up to all of the beautiful produce that’s abounding at the Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores this summer. I feel so lucky to live in a place that has pretty decent produce available all year round, but there’s something really special and exciting about going out and buying a fruit or vegetable that’s at the peak of its season, fresh off the tree or out of the ground.

For example, you can buy a peach at the store here in California (almost) 365 days a year, but do the December peaches that have likely been shipped from somewhere south of the equator REALLY taste as good as the mid-August peaches that were just plucked from the orchard earlier that day? I think not.Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

That being said, I’ve not only been hoarding figs (as I mentioned in Friday’s post about this Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash), but I’ve also been hoarding peaches. Big, fat, juicy peaches. And they have been doing me right, let me tell you. So, naturally, my brain has been churning with ideas of how to use them in anything and everything.

Let me back up for a minute before I get into this delicious, indulgent, season-friendly Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese. In case I haven’t filled you in on the latest, the hubs had his Achilles surgery last Monday, so my nurse and TLC duties have been on point for the past week. As we all know, surgery and “going under” take a lot out of you (says the gal who’s gone under for knee surgery oh, just five times.) Not only do you wake up with someone having cut you open somewhere, but often the anesthesiology is just as hard to recover from, making you feel nauseated and icky once you wake up.

My poor man most definitely experienced this, so his appetite was touch-and-go there for a few days. One of the only things that sounded good to him was bread and cheese in any form. So of course I jetted off to our corner bakery to pick up some delicious multigrain bread, and stopped in at our neighborhood TJ’s to grab some cheese. It was on the way home that the light bulb went off in my head. I had peaches on hand, I had basil on hand (stay tuned for another recipe with LOTS of basil!) and now I had delicious bread and cheese on hand. The Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese was born.

Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

In a sense, this sandwich is modeled after a take on the caprese salad, using peaches instead of tomatoes. But of course I had to jazz it up a bit. For the second cheese, I decided to crumble on some pungent, salty bleu cheese to counteract the soft, smooth and buttery taste of the fresh mozzarella. Then, to top it all off, of course I had to drizzle on some honey (because honey + bleu cheese + peaches = HEAVEN.)

Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

Guys. Do yourself a favor here. Go out and buy all of these ingredients ASAP and turn on your griddle. You are NOT going to want to miss this. This Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese is seriously the perfect flavor trifecta. We have the savory, we have the buttery, we have the salty, we have the sweet. Plus, it takes almost no time at all to make! Feeling overwhelmed with kids back in school and no time to get dinner on the table? Make these sammies and have a delicious, late-summer meal on the table in under 20 minutes. Trust me, once you join the Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese club, there’s no turning back.

Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese

10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 16 minutes

Yield: Makes one sandwich

A sweet, salty and savory grilled cheese featuring the fresh peaches and basil, mozzarella and crumbly bleu cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 2.5 ounces sliced yellow peach
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1 ounce crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. Place a griddle, cast iron skillet or sauté pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
  2. Place bread in toaster and toast until lightly golden, then spread butter on one side of each piece of bread.
  3. Placing the buttered side of one slice of bread on a plate, paper towel, or cutting board, start assembling the sandwich. Layer on the mozzarella, sliced peach, basil and bleu cheese (in that order.) Drizzle honey over top of the bleu cheese and then place the other piece of bread on top of the stack, with the buttered side facing up.
  4. Place sandwich on preheated griddle, cast iron skillet or sauté pan and cook for about three minutes, or until bread is golden-brown. Flip over and cook an additional few minutes, letting the second piece of toast brown just like the first piece. You may want to press the sandwich with a spatula every once in a while to make sure all of the cheese melts.
  5. Remove from heat and cut sandwich in half. Serve immediately.
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Honey, Peach & Basil Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese | CaliGirl Cooking

Cheese for life.

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Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash

The air is heavy with anticipation.

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

We’re at that yearly crossroad of enjoying the last glorious days of summer yet secretly anticipating the arrival of fall and all of its delicious, comforting foods…Longer nights, cooler weather, home-cooked meals…But wait! We’re not quite there yet. The temps are still easily reaching the 80-degree mark these days. We’ll get to the mid-60’s in due time (sorry, had to rub that in for all my non-Californians out there.)

In the meantime, we need to go to our local Trader Joe’s or Farmer’s Market and stock up on as many fresh figs as we can possibly eat and then some because, well, we’ll figure out something to do with them (not like I’m speaking from experience or anything) Maybe we should make a Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash? I think that sounds like a great idea.

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

Surprisingly, the fresh figs in this cocktail should really only qualify for “Best Supporting Ingredient.” The REAL star of the show here is the date tequila. That’s right folks, I’ve stepped into the infused booze world and I’m not turning back. I was first introduced to the idea of date tequila when Matt Biancaniello held a little event here in Santa Barbara to promote his latest book, “Eat Your Drink” (which you should totally order if you like inventive and super tasty cocktails featuring farm-to-table ingredients.) He had made some and was kind enough to offer us a taste, even though it wasn’t an ingredient in any of the drinks we ordered. I was immediately hooked and knew that this was the fate of the huge Ziploc full of dates we had in the refrigerator from our last trip to Palm Springs.

So I knew I wanted to make date tequila and share the awesome combination with you all, but I couldn’t stop there. I wanted to show you how to turn said date tequila into an incredibly tasty, refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for this “It’s still summer but I secretly wish it was fall” thing we’ve got going on. Oh hey, flats on flats of fresh figs that I have sitting in my refrigerator, want to jump in a cocktail? How about you, fresh rosemary that I have sitting outside our front door? Our Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash was born.

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

This is how we do it…

We get our dates marinating in our tequila at least five days before we want to whip up said Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash. Since alcohol is shelf stable, no need to worry about our concoction taking up valuable real estate in the refrigerator.

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

We go to whatever store or Farmer’s Market has our city’s best selection of fresh figs at this time of year and stock up. We’ll figure out what to do with the other five flats later…

We quickly cook up some rosemary-infused simple syrup. We’re already infusing tequila, so why stop there? We let it cool just a bit before we add it to our cocktail (or just make the syrup a day in advance and store in the refrigerator.)

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

We grab a lemon and some club soda and then we’re ready to roll!

First step is to muddle the date tequila, figs, rosemary simple syrup and lemon juice in the bottom of our cocktail glass.

Next step is to add a substantial amount of ice.

Don’t forget to top off with the bubbly club soda!

Give the cocktail a stir and finish it off with a sprig of fresh rosemary for a little extra flavor, aroma and flourish.

Serve a Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash to all of your nearest and dearest and watch them come flocking to you for more.

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

Did we just figure out a way to get rid of the surplus of figs in our refrigerator?

Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash

10 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A late-summer cocktail recipe featuring date-infused tequila, fresh figs and rosemary simple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Date Tequila (recipe below)
  • 2 fresh figs, quartered
  • ½ ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Top with club soda
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig

Instructions

  1. Combine Date Tequila, figs, Rosemary Simple Syrup and lemon juice in the bottom of a rocks glass and muddle everything together.
  2. Fill rocks glass about ¾ of the way full with ice.
  3. Top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

Notes

To make the Date Tequila: Cut 12 dates in half, removing the pit from each one, and add to large resealable glass jar (I used something like this.) Add one 750mL bottle of white tequila to jar, seal, and let sit for at least five days (up to 10 days) before enjoying.

To make the Rosemary Simple Syrup: Combine one cup granulated sugar, one cup water and one large sprig of fresh rosemary in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool before using a funnel to pour syrup into a glass bottle with a stopper for storage. Refrigerate up to one week.

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Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | CaliGirl Cooking

Did someone say cocktail?

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This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots

My bubbles obsession is real.

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

I may or may not be lying when I tell you I own two “Mornings are for Mimosas” shirts, one “I Sweat Champagne” shirt, and have recently (as of oh, two and a half weeks ago) retired my “Pop the Bubbly I’m Getting a Hubby” shirt. Totally normal, right?

Well, what SHOULD be totally normal is making Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots at least once a week for the foreseeable future. It’s still “fresh” enough to be considered a summer meal (if you have A/C and can afford to turn on your oven for significant amounts of time, that is) yet also “homey” enough to carry us through the fall. Because that’s what the month of August is all about, right? Figuring out how in the world we’re going to transition from long days at the beach, sandy hair and tan lines to earlier sunsets, cooler weather and back-to-school duties?

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

To be completely honest, I decided to make a roast chicken because I was in desperate need of some more homemade chicken stock. My freezer stash was at almost zero Tupperwares and I have become such a snob that, no, I do not want to just go to the store and buy a can or carton of the pre-made stuff. No siree, said this snobby food blogger, only the real deal for our household.

Speaking of homemade chicken stock (allow me to digress a bit)…Have you ever made your own? Let me tell you, if you haven’t, you are REALLY missing out. All you need is a slow cooker (I suppose a large pot on the stove would work as well, it just requires more babysitting), some chicken bones and whatever aromatic herbs and vegetables you have sitting in your refrigerator drawers (I often use onions or shallots, celery and carrots if I have them, and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand.) Oh, and water of course. Throw everything together in your pot and simmer away for eight or so hours and, voila! You have homemade chicken stock to stash in your freezer to use at any moment’s notice.

Okay, so I knew I needed to make a roast chicken, I had this fancy new roasting pan to break in (yay for wedding gifts!), and now I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with said roast chicken. My usual go-to roast chicken recipe is the Engagement Chicken from Glamour Magazine (have you tried it yet? Whether you’re hoping to become engaged or not, you most definitely should give it a shot.) But this time around, I wanted to do a little something to make it my own.

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

I started thinking about a turkey recipe I’d made before that used apple cider, which for some reason then made my mind wander to sparkling wine (see notes above on my slight obsession.) I figured the acidity and citrus-like flavors in the sparkling wine would pair beautifully with that comforting, savory flavor you get whenever you roast poultry. I also wanted to add some “accessories” if you will, so I decided to throw in some green grapes and big chunks of shallots to roast along with the chicken. Drippy, champagne-y gravy from roast chicken, meet grapes and shallots — heaven!!!

So, using my new ideas for this Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots, I still basically followed the directions for Engagement Chicken, because why mess up something that is so right? We simply pour the champagne/sparkling wine all over the little chick, stuff it with lemons AND oranges, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and pop it in the oven. There’s a little flip of the bird about 15 minutes into cooking, and then we add the grapes and shallots for about the last 15 minutes, but other than that, you set it and forget it!

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

I used a 6-pound bird, but you can toy around with that or just use whatever size they have at the store (I got my roaster at Costco.) Just remember to allow about 20 minutes of cooking time per pound of bird, plus an additional 15 minutes at the end. After the first hour-and-a-half to two hours, just check the temperature every so often. You’ll want it to read 180 degrees before you pull the bird out of the oven.

Last note before I leave you with this amaze-balls recipe for Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots: Whatever you do, DO NOT DITCH THE GRAVY. Now, I guess I can’t really call it “gravy,” because I did not thicken it, separate it, what have you. I simply poured the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan into a gravy boat and then the hubs and I drizzled it over our chicken before we ate it. Soooooo delicious!!!! Don’t miss it. Please.

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

And that’s that! Pretty dang easy for such a beautiful-looking dish, don’t you think?

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots

15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

A delicious, citrusy, champagne roast chicken served with roasted green grapes and shallots.

Recipe adapted from Glamour's "Engagement Chicken."

Ingredients

  • 1 6-pound roaster chicken
  • ½ cup champagne or sparkling wine
  • Juice of ½ orange (reserve other half of orange for stuffing chicken)
  • Juice of ½ lemon (reserve other half of lemon for stuffing chicken) + 1 additional lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 shallots, quartered
  • 2 cups green grapes, halved
  • Fresh sage and thyme sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove innards from chicken and rinse with cold water. Let drain in a large colander for 2 minutes.
  3. Pat chicken dry and place in roasting pan, breast side down. Pour champagne/sparkling wine all over and inside the chicken. Do the same with the orange and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the juiced orange and lemon halves, their unjuiced other halves, plus the additional lemon, and stuff inside the chicken. Prick the whole lemon a few times with a fork before stuffing it to help release the juices inside the chicken.
  5. Place chicken in oven and turn down heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken from oven and, using tongs or wooden spoons, flip chicken over so that the breast side is now facing up.
  7. Return to oven and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Start checking the temperature after about an hour and a half. For the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, add shallots and grapes to bottom of roasting pan.
  8. Once meat thermometer reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from oven. Transfer grapes and shallots to a serving platter first, and then transfer chicken so it sits in the middle of the grapes and shallots. Garnish with fresh sage and thyme sprigs. Use a carving fork and knife to serve.

Notes

Wine Pairing Note: When a recipe involves wine, one of the most natural pairings will always be more of the same wine! That being said, I’d highly recommend that you just serve up the rest of whatever bottle of sparkling wine or champagne you use for the chicken. You could also pair a lovely chardonnay that is either partially oaked or not oaked at all, as you want some acidity to pair with the citrus flavors in the bird and the herbs garnishing it.

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http://www.caligirlcooking.com/2016/08/17/champagne-roast-chicken-with-grapes-and-shallots/

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots | CaliGirl Cooking

Oh hey there crispy citrus-champagne-chicken skin…

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