LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2020

Rare birds

If you love tradition yet crave variety at the big holiday feast, these alternative birds will take the place of turkey with aplomb. Plus we’ve got the perfect sides to go with them.

You’ve likely already had a turkey in the past few months. And chances are that your traditional holiday spread looks a lot like your Thanksgiving one. This holiday, consider a different bird (and sides!) instead. Both geese and ducks come padded with flavourful fat that renders out while cooking, resulting in crisp skin and luxuriously rich meat. Collected, that fat can enrich other dishes—case in point, potatoes topped with shaved truffles (see Pommes Sarladaises on page 221). Unlike supermarket birds, small heritage chickens raised here in Ontario and available from better butchers are full of flavour and feel downright celebratory. All these birds are particularly well suited to smaller gatherings of four to six guests, and the delicious sides do away with juggling oven use; all are conveniently made on the stovetop.

The palette of intoxicating spices and tender, dark duck meat requires an aromatic white wine or an elegant red that dances with the heady spices without stepping on any toes, providing a foil for the rich fat. Pinot Gris possesses the fruit profile, creamy texture and crisp acidity to do justice to these dishes. Think an Ontario offering such as Cave Spring Pinot Gris VQA ( LCBO 522979, $16.95). Prefer red? Pinot Noir brings tart red fruit, silky tannins and smoky, earthy characteristics that will perform wonderfully. Try Oregon’s A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir ( VINTAGES ESSENTIALS 229781, $27.95).

By Christopher St. Onge  PHOTOGRAPHY BY vince noguchi

Made with FlippingBook HTML5