Food and Central Otago wine match for winter

Sage butter roasted chicken with “dirty” rice,


  • 6 x chicken pieces, bone-in & skin-on

  •  4 Tbsp butter, softened

  • 2 Tbsp sage, finely chopped or minced

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 4 medium potatoes, diced

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Set chicken out on bench for 20 minutes to bring temperature up while preparing butter mixture.

In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic and sage.

Using your hands, rub half of the sage butter under the skin of the chicken. Then spread the other half of the butter on the outside of the chicken pieces.

In a separate bowl, toss olive oil, a generous pinch of kosher salt and potatoes.

On a lined baking tray, spread potatoes and then place the chicken pieces on top. Season the chicken with a liberal amount of kosher salt.

Place the tray in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, then turn the heat up to 200 degrees Celsius and roast until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

If the potatoes are not crispy yet, remove the chicken from the pan, drain excess moisture if needed, and give the potatoes a toss before returning to the oven. Roast until crisp.


Dirty rice

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

  • ¼ cup plain flour

  • 4 Tbsp butter

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped

  • 1 green capsicum, seeded and diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 200g minced pork

  • 225g chicken livers, trimmed and sliced (can substitute for bacon if not adventurous!)

  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper and tabasco sauce

  • 200ml chicken stock

  • 100 ml white wine

  • 4 spring onions, shredded

  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 cup long grain rice, cooked


In a small saucepan, make a roux with 2 Tbsp of oil and the flour.

When it is a pale brown colour, remove the pan from the heat and place it immediately on a cool surface.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil with the butter in a skillet and fry the onion, celery and capsicum for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and pork, breaking up the pork and stirring to cook it all over.

Add the chicken livers and fry for 2-3 minutes until they have changed colour all over. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of tabasco sauce.

Stir in the roux, then gradually add in the stock and the wine. When it begins to bubble, lower heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, uncover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Finally add cooked rice to the pan with spring onions and parsley. Stir to combine.

If chicken or potatoes are still cooking you can put rice into an ovenproof dish and roast for the last of the cooking time.


Serve chicken and potatoes on a bed of dirty rice with the roasting pan juices (drained of fat) poured over the top.


A perfect accompaniment to a Central Otago Chardonnay, as the cool climate style has sufficient acid to cut through the richness of the chicken, livers and pork. A citrus edge to accentuate the herb components. Yet light enough oak integration so it is not too overwhelming for the simplicity of the dish. My wine recommendation is 2017 Matt Connell Chardonnay.

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