Sunday, April 3, 2011


Photo Credit
Tuscany!  Home of Chianti, Brunello, Multipulciano...

We are going!!!!!  In September!!!!

And we are planning our itinerary now.  Likely we will book a farmhouse or villa for a week and then 'play it by ear' the second.  Maybe venture to Venice, maybe Provence.

Liz and Darcy are up to coming, so we had them over to dinner to make tentative plans.  Before and after the meal, we had the laptops and iPads out, googling away our different questions:  what is Venice like in September?  Should we wing it, or book ahead?

Months of anticipation lie ahead....and of course, months of tasting different Tuscan wines.

The meal tonight we had these wines to accompany dinner, very tasty indeed:
Chianti Classico, Castellani
Centine, Toscana

To go with the evening's intention, I made and served a dish from The New Basic Cookbook, which was molto buon!

Photo credit
Tuscan Chicken
  • 1 chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
  • 3/4 cup chianti or dry red wine
  • 3 ribs celery (cut into slices)
  • 6 shallots (quartered)
  • 15 oil cured olives, pitted
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  1.  Combine chicken pieces, wine, celery, shallots, olives, raisins, and capers.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp sage, rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper.  Mix well, cover, refrigerate and marinade overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Heat oil in heavy oven proof skillet.  Lift the chicken from the marinade, saute over heat until golden.  Reserve the marinade.
  4. While chicken is sauteing, stir together the marinade, stock, tomato paste & remaining sage & rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is browned, pour the mixture over and bring to a boil.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and basting and degreasing twice, bake 45 minutes.  (use large spoon to carefully skim off any fat.)
  6. Bring the skillet to  the table and serve immediately.


The Clever Pup said...

Wot? Wow! I'm envious of course. I really thought that photo was a painting. I've never been to Italy but I would think you should plan ahead. I don't think the tourist season will be completely over by then.

Annika said...

I'm jealous...Wow, European cruise last year and now Tuscany.

Giulia said...

Excellent. But planning ahead is a must. It's a nice thought to not plan but in Italy, I can tell you, it will be a nightmare w/out doing so. You can't get a place at all in Venice w/out it.

Kurt said...

I've been stocking up on Sigillus Primus 2004 Salice Salentino at Astor Wines in NYC. It's delish. This sounds like an ad, but it isn't!