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Perfect match: chicken salad and riesling

You'll need

1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock 2 spring onions, halved 1 chicken (about 1.3kg) 400 gm podded broad beans (about 1kg unpodded) 200 gm sugarsnap peas, trimmed 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin 4 breakfast radishes, quartered 2 watermelon radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin ½ cup each mint and parsley, coarsely torn 2 tbsp chervil To serve: baby purple radish leaves To serve: crusty bread   Young garlic dressing 3 young garlic (see note), white part only, trimmed 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 egg yolk 1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped 200 ml olive oil 1 tbsp finely chopped chives To taste: lemon juice


  • 01
  • Bring stock and spring onion to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Wash chicken under running water, place in stock breast-side down and poach for 15 minutes, then remove pan from heat and cool to room temperature (3 hours). Drain chicken (reserve stock for another use), coarsely shred meat (discard bones and skin) and set aside.
  • 02
  • Blanch beans and peas until bright green (1 minute for beans; 30 seconds for peas), refresh, drain, peel broad beans and set both aside.
  • 03
  • For young garlic dressing, blanch garlic until tender (1 minute), refresh, drain, then blend with vinegar, mustard, egg yolk and anchovy in a small food processor until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a thin, steady stream until combined, add chives, season to taste and add lemon juice to taste. Thin to drizzling consistency with a little warm water if necessary.
  • 04
  • Combine chicken, peas, beans and remaining ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Serve with crusty bread.

Note Young garlic is available from select greengrocers.

This salad, with its little bursts of garden-green fresh vegetables and herbs, its coarsely shredded pale poached chook and its touch of bold rich flavour in the dressing, calls for a fresh young white wine with some depth and citrusy lift. Riesling springs to mind, and while there are plenty of vineyard regions in Australia that excel with this variety, I'm tempted to look for a match in Tasmania. Riesling has been grown on the Apple Isle for decades, but in the last few years Tasmania's approach to this grape has matured. On one hand, you have producers chasing what we might call the classic Australian dry riesling style: 12 per cent alcohol, lots of citrus flavour, quite high acid, age-worthy wines. And on the other hand, a growing number of producers are taking advantage of Tasmania's cool climate (great for producing delicate flavours and crisp acidity in the grapes) and creating what we might call more Germanic styles: lower alcohol (about eight per cent), residual sweetness and rounder, grapier flavours. Both styles would be a good match with this dish.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Sep 2012

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