In the interest of making the next two years pass as commodiously as possible, and keeping up my responsibilities as the NLT sommelier and grillmaster, herewith tonights gourmet menu as Casa Hayward:
A whole chicken, brined for 10 hours in Victoria Taylors spicy brining blend (very hard to find), and then barbecued, upside down, on a Weber Performer series charcoal grill for about 50 minutes (brined meats cook faster because of the water content), accompanied by this fine chardonnay from Clos Pegase, a rather pretentious Napa vinery (the winery building and surroundings were designed by Michael Graves, but what the heck, he does a line of pots and pans and small appliances for Target), but what the heck, their wines are good. (Pssst: I also cooked brown rice to go with it, but dont tell the RNC.)
Clos Pegase still makes chardonnay slightly in the 1980s/1980s big style with malalactic fermentation, even though the recent trend in California chardonnay has been to move back to the more austere French Burgundy style. I know the Burgundy style is more authentic to the grape, but I still like the big brash buttery style of well-done fake California chardonnays from the 1990s. Besides, it annoys the French, and thats always worth doing.
Up next: A barbecued standing beef rib roast on Tuesday night, when I have friends in from the Left Coast.