Barbera Food Pairings
Recipe courtesy Christian and Jennifer Stark. Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press, 2012)
6 tablespoons Pernod
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons clementine juice, freshly squeezed
4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons grain mustard
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 medium fennel bulbs, cleaned and quartered
8 organic chicken thighs
4 clementines, unpeeled, halved
3 Meyer lemons, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Flat leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Pernod, olive oil, orange and lemon juices, mustard, brown sugar and salt. Season to taste with pepper.
Add the fennel, chicken thighs, clementine halves, lemon slices, thyme and crushed fennel seeds. Turn several times to coat. If time allows, marinate the chicken, refrigerated, for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat a grill and place a chapa (a large, flat cast-iron surface) or a cast-iron pan on it. When the surface is quite hot, sear the chicken thighs skin-side down until crispy. Turn chicken over and place over indirect heat to finish cooking. Cook slowly for about 45 minutes, watching that the chicken doesn’t burn.
Place the lemon slices and clementine halves cut-side down on the chapa. When brown and caramelized, turn over and place over indirect heat to soften.
Place fennel quarters on grill. Cook until browned and crispy. Remove from direct heat, but continue to cook.
Put remaining marinade in a saucepan over direct heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by half.
When the chicken, clementines, lemons and fennel are nicely browned and cooked through, move them to a large platter. Pour the sauce over and garnish with parsley. Serves 4.
Choose Stark’s 2012 Damiano Vineyard Barbera from the Sierra Foothills ($34), a wine that’s juicy and balanced, and awash in bright blackberry and red cherry fruit. It’s a perfect match for this dish’s fresh, distinct flavors of anise, citrus and parsley.