Risotto is one of those dishes, like soup,bread salad and gumbo, that provides a perfect canvas for leftover holiday turkey. But you needn’t wait until after Thanksgiving to enjoy this dish. As the holidays approach, markets begin to stock fresh turkey, sold both whole and in pieces. And because turkey breast is the most popular cut, the more flavorful thighs, legs and wings are generally readily available at a good price. Simply roast a couple of thighs, a leg and a wing or two, reserve the best of the meat and simmer the meaty bones to make a simple stock. Cranberry chutney adds a spicy warmth and enhances the dish’s compatibility with a variety of wines.
The creamy delicacy of the rice combined with the earthy flavor of turkey, the perfume of the sage and the sweet tang of cranberries suggest an equally complex and delicate red wine - something luscious yet light, lest the subtle qualities of the dish be eclipsed. Pinot Noir from California’s coastal vineyards provides the best possiblities. Ridgeway Family Vineyards 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, from a small vineyard in southwestern Petaluma, is a stellar match. For a more playful, lighthearted match, consider Beaujolais Nouveau, an exuberant companion to cranberries.
-MICHELE ANNA JORDAN