By nature, I am a compulsive planner. I make to-do lists for my to-do lists. If I make plans to do something with friends, I need to lock down the specifics immediately. I even lesson plan at least a week in advance (which for all of you who are not teachers, we often plan a day out…not a week out!). If I don’t have a plan, I get very anxious and feel very uneasy. Being flexible with timing and planning is not one of my strong suits, but it is getting better.

My need for control to plan extends to cooking. Sometimes, the hubby will cook a meal, but in general, I plan to cook 3-4 meals a week. Each meal will include leftovers to get us through the other 3-4 nights, and if it doesn’t, we have eggs or soups on backup. So when I didn’t have a meal to cook one night, and we were out of soups, and there weren’t enough eggs for a meal left in the fridge, I froze… How did this happen? What do I do? How do I not have another meal planned? Dahhh!!!!

Breathe, Sarah. It’s just dinner… You didn’t leave your keys in the locked car (again), or forget that you had an IEP meeting that morning (again). There is food in the apartment, and you know how to cook…get creative. Okay, you can do this. I opened the freezer. We have chicken. Frozen, yes, but that is what the defrost button on the microwave is for. There were also random frozen waffles that I bought on a whim a while ago because I was craving waffles while hungry and grocery shopping, yet never used them. Ok, so I have chicken and waffles…I can make chicken and waffles! Yes! Problem solved!

I searched the internet for a Chicken and Waffle recipe (because I need a plan!), and found Chicken and Waffle Tacos by Hungry Girl (Lisa Lillien). I sighed a huge sigh of relief when I had all of the ingredients. What intrigued me was the fact that the waffles were made into tacos. Lisa’s recipe had you use thawed out frozen waffles and rolling them into a thin sheet, draping them over a baking pan. Baking them in the oven gave them a harder, taco-shell-like form. After dousing the chicken in egg whites and coating them with panko and spices, they baked in the oven for about 20 minutes and were ready to go.

Chicken 'n Waffles with steamed veggies
Chicken ‘n Waffles with steamed veggies

Like I said, this meal wasn’t planned, so a wine pairing wasn’t planned either. I had some Saint Georges Birichino Zinfandel already open, and crossed my fingers that this would go well.

The actual color of Saint Georges BIrichino Zinfandel
The actual color of the Zin

Before I go any further, I cannot describe to you how much I love this Zinfandel. It has everything. First of all, the color is gorgeous. It’s like a deep magenta mixed with a blackish purple. It reminds me of the poison apple from Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s, when the evil queen takes the apple out of the poison in her cauldron. It’s fruity, savory, somewhat tannic, and smooth. I can drink it on it’s own, though it may have too much bite for people who don’t like a heavier red. Dark fruits (blackberry, dark cherry), leather, clove, and a hint of mint (I love rhyming) blend together in a fruity and jammy, yet zingy and spicy red wine. It is medium-full bodied and covers your palate. The label has an interesting, yet memorable medieval drawing of a knight jousting a dragon. Not that the label is important, but I sold this at the wine store where I used work, and always remembered it by its label.

Saint Georges Birichino Zinfandel Wine Label

Chicken 'n Waffle Taco with Birichino Zinfandel
Please excuse the clutter that you see all over the apartment 🙂

Again, full discression, the meal and pairing were not planned. I reiterate this because if I had planned, I would never have put these two together. Sadly, this meal was a train wreck. You already know that the wine was delicious. Chicken and waffles are as meant to be together as peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese. Lisa Lillien’s recipe was absolutely fantastic. Anything with maple syrup is fantastic! But the pairing? I took my first bite. Suddenly, the wine was only full of spice and the maple syrup had no more flavor. How maple syrup can actually lose its flavor is beyond me. I had to be mistaken. I took a second bite. No way, José. It was worse than before. Now, the wine was basically just a purple beverage. Ew. I saved the wine to drink after dinner. Just goes to show that I don’t know how to “wing” a wine and food pairing. 1 grape

*DISCLAIMER* PLEASE try this recipe and drink this Zin at some point. They are fantastic! …just not together…

Recipe: Chicken ‘n Waffle Tacos by Hungry Girl

Wine: Saint Georges Birichino Zinfandel ($20ish…can’t remember)

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