I was trying to create something to add to a salad, when I came up with the idea of trying to use James River Cellars’ Chambourcin as the star ingredient… as luck would have it, a reduction of this sweet wine was just what I had in mind.
I started with 1 1/2 cups of James River Cellars’ Chambourcin wine. Since our winemaker creates ours as a sweet wine, rather than a dry one, it seemed like the obvious choice to me. I simmered the wine in a medium saute pan until much of the liquid had evaporated and the wine had thickened significantly. I didn’t want to do a quick/hard boil on this, so it took about 40 minutes or so for this thickening to happen.
Once the wine was thick, I added 1/2T butter, 1t sugar, and 1T heavy cream to the mixture. When the butter had melted and the sugar and cream had incorporated thoroughly, I poured the wine drizzle back to the glass measuring cup, where I was able to see that the mixture had reduced down to 1/4 cup of drizzle. It was tart, yet had a bit of sweetness in the background that I thought would pair beautifully with some blue cheese and chicken in a salad. Adding some crunch (some nuts, perhaps?) would have been nice touch, but I was more concerned with assembling a simple salad that would be filling and delicious. The drizzle was relegated to the fridge until it was time to put my lunch together.
When lunchtime rolled around, I was more than ready to dig into this yummy salad. NOTE: Since butter was used in creating the drizzle, you may want to allow the drizzle to warm ever so slightly so you don’t have any clumps in your drizzle. Beating it lightly with a small whisk will accomplish the same task. I sliced some romaine lettuce and used that as the base for my salad. I thinly sliced a cooked chicken breast, use as much as you’d like and laid the slices in a pleasing array atop the lettuce. NOTE: I used a breast that I had roasted the night before, but could have easily used pieces of a pre-roasted chicken from the local market. I crumbled some blue cheese over the chicken and lightly seasoned everything with 1T olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Now was the time for my Chambourcin Drizzle to shine. I used approximately 2 teaspoons of drizzle to “glaze” my salad, so there was plenty to use for a few servings. Once I tossed the salad, the entire salad became slightly pink in color… it would have been wonderful with some crusty bread, but I loved all the flavors that combined to create something fun and tasty.
Hope you’ll try making something unique for your next luncheon. A port wine would have been delicious in this recipe as well… maybe I’ll have to try that version next time.
Enjoy your taste tests… I know I do!