January's Wine of the Month is Dry Riesling at Deer Run Winery. Our 2018 Dry Riesling has notes of Meyer lemon and pickled ginger with a crisp, dry finish. This versatile white wine can be paired with a myriad of dishes, notably Asian, BBQ, fish, pork and so much more! As owners George and Joan traveled South earlier this month to over-winter, I wanted to prepare a special meal for them the night before they left. Many of my meals start with the wine and then I work backwards to see what I can make that would pair well and highlight the notes in the wine. I realize most people pair wine with their already chosen food, but thus is the life of a family who lives, breathes, and sells wine!
I wanted to focus on our Dry Riesling's citrus notes and decided on lemon-thyme chicken with homemade gnocchi. I had never made gnocchi before, but read some food blogs and it seemed simple enough. I also have a potato ricer in my repertoire of kitchen gadgets, so I decided to give it a try!
The gnocchi recipe I used called for boiling whole potatoes and peeling them afterwards so they avoid becoming waterlogged. I decided to do this step in the morning to break up the amount of work needed to be done in preparation of our dinner. After peeling the potato, using a knife while holding the potato on the end of a fork, I left the whole potatoes on the counter to cool until the afternoon. That was a mistake on my part. It was much more difficult to rice the potato once it had cooled down. Note that the potato should be pressed through the potato ricer while it is still hot. Anyhow, I brought the dough together with flour, salt, egg, and potato and rolled out strips as instructed, cut in to small pillows and rounded those over fork tines and, voila, I had homemade gnocchi! I was quite proud of myself at this point, but I had piled my little pillows on the counter, which was another no-no. When it came time to throw them in the boiling water, many of the pillows stuck together and I had to tear them apart. Next time, I will lay them out on a parchment lined sheet pan or on a floured surface.
For the chicken, I heated a cast iron skillet and browned the chicken thighs on both sides which had been sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper. I removed the chicken from the pan then added butter, chopped garlic, thyme, lemon peel zest and the juice from one lemon and stirred that up to bubbling. I deglazed the pan with Dry Riesling (about 1/4 cup) and let it simmer to cook out the alcohol. I then added flour to soak up all the butter and liquid in the pan and whisked in chicken stock and bit of half and half to make a cream sauce. I added the chicken to the pan and set it aside. After quickly cooking the gnocchi in boiling water ( it takes less than 1 minute to cook), I combined the gnocchi with the chicken and lemon-thyme cream sauce. Dinner was ready! The 2018 Dry Riesling paired incredibly well with this dish and I had Joan ooh-ing and aah-ing at the table so much that George had to tell her to quiet down!
I share this with the hope that you carve out a night of cooking a new dish with a friend or a loved one. When you are indulging on the "fruits" of your labor we hope you pair it with the fruit of ours! Cheers and Enjoy!
Find the Lemon-Thyme Chicken Recipe I loosely followed here.
Find the Gnocchi recipe I used here.
Purchase Deer Run's 2018 Dry Riesling or semi-dry Riesling here!
I am the winemaker's wife. Scott and I married in 2014 and I transitioned from a hospitality manager to a grape farmer's wife, event coordinator and blog author.