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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

'Ci Vediamo Presto!' with a Franciacorta Sparkler + a Favorite Brinner #ItalianFWT

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

This month the Italian Food Wine Travel writers are looking at wine from Lombardy. Gwendolyn Alley of Wine Predator is hosting. You can read her invitation.


Here's the line-up of the articles from the #ItalianFWT writers about Lombardy...



The Italian Food Wine Travel group has traveled virtually to Lombardy previously and you can read more about the region in these posts. In May 2016, I shared Sbrisolona and Cantina Casteggio Barbera; and in August 2021, I posted Pici Alla Crema di Limone + Costaripa Valtènesi Chiaretto Rosamara 2019. And, more specifically, we have looked at the wines of Oltrepò Pavese, a subregion of Lombardy. For that sponsored event, I offered up Second Pours of Oltrepò Pavese Wines with Braised Short Ribs and Puff Pastry in February 2022. Let's get down to my offering for this event.


Ci Vediamo Presto!


When D left for school in August, we had Nonna over for dinner to bid him 'see you soon!' No farewells here. He requested his favorite: chicken and waffles. Done. It's our favorite breakfast-for-dinner also known as brinner.


A Franciacorta Sparkler


I decided to explore Franciacorta, a sparkling wine with DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status from the Brescia province of Lombardy. It also appears to be a territory of Brescia.

located on the hills between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the city of Brescia. It received DOC status in 1967 with the designation encompassing both red and white still wines. Then, in 1995 the DOCG classification applied exclusively to the sparkling wines of the area.


This bottle, a non-vintage brut from Contadi Castaldi, is a blend of 80% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Nero, and 10% Pinot Bianco grapes. The winery is housed in what was an ancient brickyard, Fornace Biasca. In the late twentieth century the brickyard went defunct and Vittorio Moretti purchased the property for his wife, Mariella, who had spent many afternoons there with her godmother. In the 1980s, Vittorio and Mariella Moretti decided to convert the brickyard into a winery.


This is just one of their wines. Named for Mariella, Contadi Castaldi has a 90% Pinot Nero, 10% Chardonnay that is aged on the lees for five and a half years. I would love to get my hands on one of those bottles! The Sateen is also intriguing as a single varietal that is aged for three years on the lees. I will definitely be looking out for more bottles from Contadi Castaldi in the future.


A Favorite Brinner

In case you are unfamiliar, 'brinner' is a made up word. It's really just 'breakfast for dinner'...something we do often in this household. Huevos Rotos is a favorite as is eggs benedict with my Hollandaise sauce.


But chicken and waffles is one of D's favorite brinner. When he makes meal requests, this is usually it. So, when he asked for it before he left for school, I didn't even hesitate.


Ingredients

serves 4


Crusted Chicken

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • buttermilk

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • flour for dredging, approximately 1/2 cup

  • breadcrumbs for coating, approximately 2 cups

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons butter, melted


Waffles

  • 2 cups flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning


Gravy

  • 3 Tablespoons butter

  • olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

  • salt and pepper to taste


For Serving

  • maple syrup, optional


Procedure


Crusted Chicken

Earlier in the day, place chicken in a bowl and pour buttermilk over them. Massage the buttermilk into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for, at least, two hours or up to six hours.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-size bowl mix together flour and Cajun seasoning. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs. And, in a third bowl, pour the breadcrumbs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.


Coat chicken thighs in the flour mixture then dip into beaten eggs. Gently press the thighs into the breadcrumbs until they are completely coated. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining thighs. Drizzle melted butter over the chicken (approximately ½ teaspoon on each).


Bake for 12 minutes. Flip chicken and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until chicken is firm to the touch and no longer pink in the center.


Waffles

Place all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir till just moistened. Cook in your waffle-maker according to its directions.


Gravy

In a small pot melt the butter in a splash of olive oil. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the stock. Whisk constantly until thickened to a nice gravy consistency. Pour in heavy cream and season to taste with Cajun seasoning.


For Serving

Let diners serve themselves. I did: waffle, then chicken, then gravy. Jake and D both like gravy and maple syrup. Nonna tried it all!


Well, that's a wrap on my December #ItalianFWT offering. And, in case you wanted to revisit all of our topics for 2023, here you go. I am listing my post, but it includes links to all of the other posts for the event.


The 2023 Round-Up


Our plans for these groups are up in the air. We might be transitioning to a quarterly posting for each of the groups. But, rest assured, I will continue to explore wines and make pairings. Stay tuned!

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