Butter Chicken + Field Recordings 2021 Domo Arigato (Mr. Ramato)
Jake and I just returned from celebrating my half-century with a birthday get-away to Paso Robles. Our first stop: a wine tasting at Field Recordings.
We had tried a bottle or two from Field Recordings before, but this was our first visit to their tasting room.
2021 Domo Arigato (Mr. Ramato)
Winemaker Andrew Jones worked as a vine nursery fieldman and these wines are from vineyards he has helped to plant, hence his field recordings. His are wines with a sense of place and personality. The 2021 Domo Arigato (Mr. Ramato) is not from a single-vineyard, but is a Ramato-style wine blended from the fruits of the Greengate, Derbyshire, Jack Ranch vineyards.
Are you asking yourself, "What is Ramato wine?" Here's a primer. Ramato is a skin-fermented Pinot Grigio, but don't make the mistake of thinking that it's just another 'orange' wine or just another Rosé.
Pinot Grigio hasn't always been the dry, unpigmented wines we typically see today. In Friuli, Pinot Grigio grapes were historically crushed and the skin allowed to macerate with the juice. That could lend a toothiness and a tell-tale color to the wine. 'Ramato' means coppered in Italian and refers to this delicious copper-hued Italian farmhouse style wine.
Ramati have been produced in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region of Italy where Pinot Grigio has been grown for hundreds of years it's the Italian name for Pinot Gris, a mutated varietal from white Pinot grapes. And while this type of wine is tied to the Friuli region, the style is made in other parts of Italy and enjoying an emergence in other parts of the world, such as three distinct areas of the Central Coast: Paso Robles, Santa Barbara Highland, and the Edna Valley.
After a two-month skin-maceration, this wine is beautifully copper-hued. After maceration, the skins are pressed out and the wine ages for six months in French oak and acacia barrels. On the nose, the wine has aromas of summer stone fruit and herbs such as thyme. On the palate, the wine is fuller than I expected with a sweetness of peach jam and a hit of freshly ground pepper.
On the drive home, Jake mentioned butter chicken. I am easily swayed by mere suggestion! And I always love butter chicken with skin-fermented wines. This is a riff on a process I learned from my friend Priya. I have added in carrots, celery, and potatoes to make this more veg-heavy. You can certainly buy naan, but if you are interested in making your own, here's my Einkorn Naan.
1 pound organic chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized cubes
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 Tablespoon-sized chunks
1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 Tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
3” stick cinnamon
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1 Tablespoon chili paste (optional)
1 cup organic heavy cream
cooked rice and naan (my Einkorn Naan) for serving
In a large mixing bowl, massage the salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and turmeric into the chicken. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. Stir in the onions, ginger, and garlic and cook until the mixture is aromatic. Add the remaining butter and stir in the carrots, celery, potatoes, and chicken. Stir in the garam masala, remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Pour in 1/2 cup chicken stock and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
Pour in the tomato sauce and remaining chicken stock. Add in the chili paste, if using; we like our butter chicken a little bit spicy. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the cream, whisk to combine, and simmer until that it thickened to your liking.
Serve garnished with cooked rice. Enjoy!