So one of the advantages of hanging out online and chatting it up on twitter with like minded folks is the influx of ideas, recipes, wine reviews and all-in-all general good-vibeness.  I came across a fantastic blog this week, which I highly recommend following.  @SavourSonoma on twitter, and http://sonomagirl.com which turns out to be a great resource for recipies and general Sonoma County info.

Anyhow, Danielle posted a blog about mirepoix this week.  For those who don’t now, mirepoix has something to do with onion, carrots, and celery.  A great mix of yumminess no doubt.  She prepped up some chicken with said onion, celery and carrots and used them in a baked dish that sounded worthy of a Thursday Night dinner.

So I stopped by Oliver’s Market this afternoon to pick up some missing ingredients, celery, oninon, and carrot in addition to some dry sherry.  I choppy chopped up the veg, and put the chicken in the foil pouch with some fresh cracked pepper and sea salt, with a dash of Dry Creek Olive Co. EVOO.

foiled!

So into the oven with this mixed bag of goodies for about 50 minutes.  One side note here.  I used frozen, skin-on boneless breasts.  I’m thinking that 75 minutes might be better if you start with frozen chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 F
Chop up 2 carrots
Chop up 3 stalks of Celery
Chop Up 1 white onion

mirepoix

Place veg on tin/aluminum foil, put breasts on top, crack pepper and sea salt over mix, and drizzle 3-4 oz of really good olive oil over the whole bunch.

Here’s the advantage with mirepoix, at this point you can take your mirepoix and fridge it up for use later in soup or whatever chicken dish you want.  I took the mix and placed it in a caserole with the following.

Prep some chicken broth 1 cup, add 1/2 cup dry sherry, reduce in saucepan.

Cooked for a bit

In caserole add 1 cup of brown rice (I used a wild brown mix).

Here’s probably where I messed up.  I think the best bet is to cook up your rice to tender status prior to addint into the caserole.  My rice was, uber “al dentel,” in other words crunchy.  So place 1 cup of rice, pre-cooked in caserole, add broth/sherry to rice, place chicken mirepoix into caserole, squeeze one lemon into caserole dish and stir up (remove any seeds that may drop in).  Cover and put the caserole into the oven at 350 F for 30 min.  After 30 min remove cover, put panko bread crumbs over entire surface and then shred sharp white cheddar and fontina cheese, cover completely.

Fresh Cheese and Panko Covered Caserole

Place caserole back into oven and increase heat to 375F for another 20 min.

Looks Great!

I served some fresh cut green beans with this main dish.

This dish pairs excellently with a great Sauvigonon Blanc, we had a 2007 Rued, Dry Creek Valley,  Sauvignon Blanc.

So here’s my own personal verdict.  I screwed up this dinner, the rice was crunch which was truly unfortunate.  While cooking the house smelled awesome.  The good thing was that the chicken was done and tasted great.  It was juicy and tender, the veggies in the mirepoix were cooked but not overdone.

To do this better I would have pre-cooked the rice for a bit, the rice I used usually calls for boiling for almost an hour, I thought the oven baking would get the job done but it failed.

Needless to say, the flavors in the dish were superb and the wine pairing was spot-on, the rice… not so much.

Well, it was still not “too” bad for a Thursday Night Dinner!

Cheers!
Brian

PS: Stop by my Facebook page for daily updates of things that are good and extremely important… or not, but still fun!

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