I felt like returning to the chicken and mac & cheese theme from the recent dinner party, but scaled back for a casual lunch. The pasta is pretty much the same as last time, minus the lobster and substituting cavatappi for elbow macaroni. This corkscrew shape is more fun to eat and holds on to the sauce better due to the tiny ridges along the sides. Lightly steamed broccolini for the tasty vegetable side. Pretty simple dinner, yet I did something interesting with the chicken.
I brined the chicken legs overnight using a slapdash mixture of pomegranate juice, allspice berries, mustard seeds, honey, salt, and water. The next morning, I smoked them using alder chips for about two hours before serving. The color was gorgeous--looked more like a cherry/walnut wood varnish. Great flavor, the kind that can't be duplicated merely by slapping on McSmokehouse BBQ Sauce™. In fact, this chicken needed nothing else added to it. I even left the hot sauces in their respective hazmat containment units.
I opened a random purchase, the 2007 Lost Angel Muscat Canelli from Eos Estate Winery in Paso Robles, California. $14, 11.5% abv. Honey and apricot aroma, with a touch of pineapple. The flavor is medium sweet, and a veritable fruit salad: peach, cantaloupe, a little banana, and a final burst of lemony acidity. It's sweeter than what I normally prefer, but was a fun change of pace, and an interesting contrast after trying a dry implementation of the grape.