Listen up y’all, today is Friday!  You know what that means…our weekly #VittlesandVino post comes to you with one fantastic recipe and wine pairing to try over your weekend, or better yet…a dish you might try for your upcoming New Years Eve Dinner.

This week, I post a recipe that is near and dear to my heart.  Not, honestly, because I have ever made it myself, but because it is made yearly by my dear friend, Allison, member of our Girls n Grapes team.  The dish was such a huge hit the first time Allison brought it to our annual luxury tasting over three years ago and because it is THAT good, the recipe is now an annual tradition, made yearly for our Girls n Grapes December Luxury Tasting.

This year the dish took on one more level of AWESOME, when we paired the recipe with a spectacular Chardonnay from Meursault, Burgundy (France).  Fireworks, I tell ya!  This, the ultimate definition of ‘perfect pairing’ when the two came together symbiotically.

Start first with the recipe…

Chicken with Morels

Recipe by: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

1- ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1⁄4 cup clarified butter
1⁄3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 cup Madeira wine
1 cup (8 ounces) creme fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.
Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

Then, pair to the wine…IMG_7608

Mestre-Michelot, 1er Cru, Meursault-Perrières ~ Burgundy, France

The wine, approx $75-$80 on the shelf is a delicious little gem I’ve been raving about all week!  A wine, seriously so good, I’ve had already two bottles of it this week.  Yum!

This Chardonnay gives you exactly what you should expect from the region of Meursault:  floral, bits of honey and loads of hand rolled farmers butter.  At the same time, this wine is bright, citric and minerally, leaving the wine textured and layered with mouthwatering notes of stone fruit and lemon curd.  The textured notes of almond husk and ripe peach leave your palate begging for another sip.

When paired to the Chicken and Morel dish, the wine takes on notes of creamy apple and pear.  The fresh Burgundian soil notes of the wine peak through the dish, pairing perfectly to the earthy morel mushrooms snuggled deep amongst the perfectly cooked chicken and cream sauce.  All at once, the dish lightens as the bright citric notes of the wine cut through the rich cream leaving a suddenly, sweet lemon finish.  Just sensational!

A wine well worth the money, and a recipe (I promise you) will become part of your own recipe book.

Enjoy!  From the lovely ladies of Girls n Grapes.

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