Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Pop Up restaurant at Edible Canada, put on by Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry. Their dinner was called “When Poultry Meets Wine” which I thought was very fitting and interesting as I had very little knowledge about pairing wine with poultry. Usually you hear of people telling you to pair reds with steak, and whites with seafood, but very few people talk about the kind of wines that pair best with chicken or duck.
Fraser Valley is a 5 generation family farm based in Fraser Valley, British Columbia. In the past few years, they have expanded their offerings to include a variety of poultry products including certified organic chicken, squab, Loong Kong (Taiwan) chicken, and ready-to-eat products like Smoked Pekin Duck Breast and Duck Farmer Sausage.
We started off the dinner by having Duck Liver Pate which was served with truffle, stone fruit compote, on top of sourdough bread.
Next appy was the Crispy Duck Hearts which were just absolutely glorious. Duck hearts may sound scary but they really don’t taste too different than regular meat. They’re a little denser and crunchier in texture but I personally find that tastier than regular meat.
Since the dinner was called “When Poultry Meets Wine”, we got to learn a lot about the wine pairings through Ashley West, from Sommelier at Home!
Chef Tobias Grignon from Edible Canada also did a wonderful demonstration teaching us how to properly cook poultry and the right kinds of temperature to use with different parts of the chicken. For example, it kills him to hear people say they like to grill their skinless boneless chicken breast because putting chicken breast on high heat will almost ALWAYS cause it to overcook on the outside while undercooking it on the inside. His tip? For buttery moist chicken breast, set the oven at 250 degrees and cook the chicken breast for 25 minutes (with some oil and herbs). Allow the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 170-174 degrees.
As mentioned earlier, one of their new ready-to-eat products that just hit the shelves is this Smoked Duck Breast. It’s available for purchase at the Edible Canada Granville Island store from Aug 17 to Sept 30.
Their smoked duck breast contains an incredible amount of umami and it paired so amazingly well with the light frisee salad. Throw in some apples, endives, pistachio, and a duck egg? Bam, it’s the Fraser Valley Smoked Duck Salad. In the beverage department, this was paired with the light White Aromatic Blend by Ripples Winery which finished dry and complemented the salad really well.
For our mains, Ripples Winery and Ashley West wanted to showcase the dark meats by pairing it with this darker, robust, blueberry wine. All of the blueberries are from Abbotsford, and because the wine is dry, it pairs really well with food that has a lot of fat (hence, the dark meat).
I personally have never had squab cooked in any other way besides the Asian “BBQ” way so I thought this was really interesting. This Grilled Squab was marinaded in Chermoula and topped with Buckwheat honey, white bean croquette, and parsley. The squab meat was dense and more ‘red’ like duck, but had a very familiar taste of dark chicken meat. For those who are unsure about squab, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try because it’s not as weird or different as you may think.
Now this is that beautiful white chicken breast meat Chef Tobias was talking about earlier. Instead of trying to ‘char’ and grill the heck out of it, you need to give that chicken breast some TLC. So while the breast looks a little pale and uncharred, just know it cuts like butter and tastes incredibly moist. This Butter Poached Free Range Chicken Breast was paired with crispy skin, golden beets, blueberries, fingerling chips, and tarragon.
Last but not least is dessert. This is a dessert blueberry wine by Ripples Winery. One tip I got from Ashley about dessert wines is that your wine should always be sweeter than your dessert. Who woulda thought?!
I adore this Roasted Okanagan Peaches dessert served with creme fraiche, brown butter cake, and basil. Every component was quite sweet, but is nicely balanced when you pair it with the sugar-free creme fraiche. The creme fraiche just lifts all of the flavours up and it’s like symphony in your mouth.
If you are interested in buying local and trying Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry products, you can visit them here or find their products at select specialty stores and Choices Markets. Remember, their ready-to-eat products are sold at Edible Canada’s Granville Island store until Sept 30th so make sure you stop by if you’re already at Granville Island!
A big thank you to Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry for sponsoring this post as well as the dinner. Partnerships like these allow me to continue doing what I do and keep this website alive. All opinions are my own.