December 4, 2003


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As winter nears and temperatures drop, the need for heartier foods and wines increases. At this time of year, dishes such as roasts and stews are much more warming to the soul than light fare. These dishes should be accompanied by rich, complex red wines that provide a great deal of body and character. In the world of food and wine, it’s generally said that light fare should be accompanied by lighter wines, and hearty fare should be accompanied by richer wines. This is so due to the harmony that is achieved when a wine is able to stand up to the food with which it is paired and vice versa. In this week’s column, I will be providing you with a couple simple dishes from France that can be enjoyed during the cold winter months, as well the wines that accompany these dishes.

Poulet Roti aux Marrons — Serves 4

This is a Lyonnaise dish traditionally served at Christmas, but can be enjoyed throughout the season.


1 Whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Pounds chestnuts

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

3 Cups chicken broth or bouillon

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped Kosher salt, Cracked black pepper

To prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

3. Rub the chicken with the olive oil. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and put in oven for 1 hour.

4. While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the chestnuts. With a paring knife, slit the rounded side of the chestnuts. Boil the chestnuts in salted water for 4 minutes. Remove the shell and the underlying white skin when chestnuts are still hot.

5. Melt the butter in a large saut