Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Add Wine

Inspiration Cafe would like to offer a very warm welcome to Talya.  Talya blogs over at Grace Grits and Gardening where she tells amazing stories from her life with humor, and grace, and she even throws in some delicious looking recipes for good measure! 

Meet Talya ~

Usually when thinking of food and wine, most people are only worried about which wine pairs best with a particular meal. But if you follow a few simple guidelines, cooking with wine can enhance your dish.

Great Whites!

The number one rule is…. If it's not good enough to drink, it's not good enough for your recipe. In an attempt to be frugal, don't pour the dregs of a leftover rancid wine into your delicious dish. If the wine has turned to cough syrup while you were on a girls’ weekend, why would it taste any better in your bordelaise sauce? The entire recipe will be sour. It's best to open a new fresh bottle. You didn't chop and dice and sauté for an hour to pour in a bitter or flat vino.

Just Say No.

There is a section in the grocery store that sells vinegar and spices and "cooking wine". Do not use this "cooking wine". This is best for little old church ladies who pretend not to drink but sip a thimble full now and again while cooking meatloaf for supper. This concoction is full of salt and once the alcohol cooks off, your chicken piccata will be salty like the sea.

While simmering, most of the alcohol will evaporate and your dish will be flavored with the wine. If you’re like me and don't know that much about wine, the back wine label usually includes a description of the underlying wine tones such as apples, pears, vanilla, smoky, chocolaty, fruity, etc. It’s not just about the alcohol - every bottle tastes differently. Climate, growing season, and type of grape all affect the flavor of the wine and ultimately your food.

Chardonnays work well for deglazing and making sauces. With a somewhat buttery flavor, they enhance a buttery sauce. Sweet wines with hints of fruit work well roasting chicken or turkey or for dessert sauces. Bolder reds enhance meat dishes such as pot roast, chili or spaghetti.

This is one of my favorite go-to wines
for roasting poultry. It is relatively inexpensive
and has a screw top - bonus!!

My favorite roasted chicken recipe...
Roasted Chicken with White Wine and Rosemary
1 Whole Chicken
Olive Oil
White Wine
Sea Salt
Small Orange
Small Potato
Small Yellow Onion

Wash and pat dry the chicken. Place in a roasting pan, breast side up. Fill the cavity of the chicken with slices of orange, lemon, chunks of potato and onion, rosemary stems and whole garlic cloves. Don't be shy - stick your hand up in there and stuff it full of these goodies. Rub the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt and pepper. Pour a cup of wine in the pan and over the chicken. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 350 for about an hour depending on bird size. Periodically baste with the wine. Uncover and roast an additional 20 minutes or so at 425 for extra brown crisp skin. Discard the fruit and veggies in the cavity. That was just for flavor.


Deglaze the drippings with more white wine for a delicious sauce.

This recipe works great with your Thanksgiving turkey too!

Grace Grits & Gardening

Thanks Talya!


  1. Yummmm! This looks so delicious and I bet it makes the whole house smell wonderful!! Can't wait to try it!

  2. I love wine in cooking. I will definitely be using some of these tips. Thanks Talya!

  3. I love all these wine tips, Talya! I plan on using your roasting tip on my turkey for Thanksgiving this year...thank you! This is such a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing at Inspiration Cafe! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Cheers!

  4. Linda Nash DickinsonOctober 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Talya, I plan on using this roasting tip on my Thanksgiving turkey also. I am amazed by your talent. Thank you for all that you do!

  5. Thanks everyone! This really is a wonderful way to roast your Thanksgiving turkey. I love the citrusy flavors with poultry. Very fresh and not so heavy...And yes, your house will smell divine:)

  6. Ooh Talya that roast chicken looks awesome - great guest post, thank you so much for sharing at the Cafe with us xx Nat

  7. Very helpful information! I will definitely try out that yummy recipe:):)!