Battle Southern Rhône, Provence, and Languedoc-Roussillon

The menu for last night’s "Battle Dinner’ follows:

Battle Southern Rhône, Provence, and
Saturday, August 8th 2009

NV Louis Berthélémy Champagne Brut Rosé

Rabbit Terrine
2007 La Badiane Côteaux Varois Rosé

Provençal Pissaladière with onion confit, olives, and anchovies
2006 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence
2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc

Asperges Provençal
2000 Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc

Provençal Chicken w/local chanterelles
1982 Domaine Tempier Bandol ‘La Migoua’
1985 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape
1995 Château Romanin Les Baux de Provence

Clafoutis aux Abricots and Clafoutis aux Cerises Noires

Participants were Cheryl & Bill Jamison, Dolores Lan & Bill Ackerman, Laura Chancellor & Larry Archibald, Carollee & Dick Krueger, and Jinny & Jack Johnson (listed in order of course presentation).

We started, as the participants were assembling, with the Barthélémy Champagne Rosé - bright, fruity, and very tasty. It made a good lead-in to the starter course. The Jamison’s Rabbit Terrine was served with mustard, cornichons, and a cherry jam. The terrine was very tasty and enjoyable with their delightful La Badiane Rosé. The terrine was made from rabbit, chicken, pork, pork fat, cranberries, & nuts. It was wonderfully rich, moist, & flavorful and enjoyed by all out on our patio on a very comfortable evening,

The nest course, also served out on our patio, was the Ackermans’ Pissaladiére. The onions, olives, and anchovies were balanced nicely atop a rich bready base. Bill said he made the dough using his Ischia starter; it was very tasty with both the Provençal Red and the Beaucastel White. The Pissaladiére was very filling, but we were able to move on to Laura’s very nice Asparagus with Tomatoes and Herbs which was very ably accompanied by another Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - rich, fruity, with enough acidity to pair with the asparagus & tomatoes. We then moved inside for the main course.

Jack Johnson had brought some small chanterelles, that he had picked the day before. So I decided to sauté them and top the chicken with them, even though that wasn’t authentically Provencale. I sautéed the chanterelles in a mix of EVOO with a little Blood Orange Olive Oil, onion pepper, onion powder, and a little thyme. Meanwhile, the chicken that I had browned in Blood Orange Olive Oil and seasoned with Herbes de Provence and placed in a pot of simmering chicken stock with two chopped sweet onions, six cloves of smashed garlic, a couple sprig of fresh bay leaves, a pint of Provençal Olives, and a couple tablespoons of lavender. The chicken was legs & thighs from Pollo Real’s Label Rouge French chickens. After 2 1/2 to 3 hours of simmering, I placed the legs/thighs in bowls, placed some of the onion-garlic-olive mixture around them, topped them with the chanterelles, a put a ladle of broth over the whole. This was enjoyed around our dining table with three somewhat different red wines: a 1982 Domaine Tempier Bandol ‘La Miguoa’ - dark fruit, rich, and very good with the chicken; Jack’s 1985 Chateau de Beaucastel - also rich, somewhat different dark fruit profile, with a little more acidity than the Bandol, and a longer finish; the 1995 Provençal red was much younger tasting, lighter fruit, still a bit of tannin, and a nice fruity finish.

Then it was on to Jinny’s dessert - two tasty clafoutis, an apricot and a brandied cherry. We didn’t have any wine with the dessert, since Jack thought we’d have had enough wine. He did however bring the two lovely Beaucastels for other folk’s courses. I also had a little of the Ch. Romanin left, and it was amazingly good with the cherry clafoutis.

Sounds like a great dinner. The rabbit terrine was homemade?


Yes, Cheryl got the ingredients and prepared it herself.