Match of the week | Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and Thierry Puzelat Pinot Noir

Match of the week

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and Thierry Puzelat Pinot Noir

Last week’s highlight was a trip to the newly opened downstairs restaurant at Terroirs, a restaurant of which regular readers will know I’m a huge fan (along with the rest of the UK’s wine-writing fraternity).

I have to confess we ate a disgraceful amount including grilled squid with piment d’Espelette, langoustines and aioli, eggs ‘en meurette’, Middle White pork ‘rillons’ with a mustardy lentil salad and crème caramel but the highlight was a whole roast Landaise chicken cooked with 40 cloves of garlic. (No, I didn’t count them but that’s how the dish was billed. There were 30 at least, that’s for sure which sounds terrifyingly garlicky but in fact the effect is quite mild and sweet.)

To partner it we had a bottle of Thierry Puzelat PN ‘Les Montils’. Puzelat who is based in the Loire is one of the high priests of natural winemaking so this was no ordinary Loire red but funky and slightly medicinal: the kind of wine you’re not sure you really like at first sip but which grows on you as it opens up - particularly with a plateful of chicken, garlic and duck fat roasties.

To tell the truth almost any Pinot Noir would have worked with this dish but they wouldn’t have been half as thought-provoking . . .

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