What is the recipe for everlasting love? Whimsy Chefs Kira Nordby and Dan Jankelson invited us to share in the meal they prepared together the evening their spark ignited. What a fun journey to prepare a meal and get a peek at that moment they realized they were sticking around for the next meal.
Dan and Kira live in Bow, Washington a tiny farming community nearby the sea. Their ranch is a crisp inhale of the country life in Washington. Vast open space beyond split rail fences, views of mountains, valleys, and a peek a boo of the Salish Bay. The smell of salt water even though it’s a mile away, a covered back porch that I never wanted to leave, and dogs. There are dogs everywhere. Dan hunts for sport and tonight he’s cooking up some chukar. I knew I had some hardworking hunting dogs to also thank for the meal we were fixin to fix.
Of course, we start with cocktails; Kira pours a bit of bubbly with Amoretti and we head out for a few minutes of chin wagging on that amazing back porch. After a bit, the glasses are drained and we start thinking of appys. Being we’re in Bow, right off Chuckanut Drive, and it’s early spring, the appetizer of choice is always oysters. Dan opened the oysters and Kira made a beautiful mignonette as accompaniment.
The oysters go down easy and the kitchen heats up. Dan puts his glasses on and gets to work on the bird. Dan’s chucker recipe is similar to coq au vin blanc but with a thoughtful modern twist. He a browns bacon and shallot and then sears the chukar in the rendered bacon fat. Once the bird has a good color he adds mushrooms and lets it all simmer in a prosecco and cream & broth reduction. The rich broth, punctuated by tart notes of prosecco plays well with the game bird and earthy mushrooms.
“The first time he cooked for me, he made this recipe and I loved it. It was amazing”
Meanwhile, Kira is working on her side of Brussels Sprouts w/ Bacon & Goat Cheese. Alongside Dan, she’s elevating a humble veg into a masterpiece of flavor. She too is crisping off a bit of bacon, then tossing the sprouts in the fat and serving them with crispy bacon and topped with goat cheese. This is the vegetable side dish I want to bring to my next potluck. Ridiculously good.
“I always hated brussels sprouts until Kira made this recipe. I really just like Kira’s brussels sprouts.”
Things are starting to come together and it’s fun to watch these two laugh and have fun cooking ‘the love meal’.
Kira’s son Brandon sets the table and Kira and Dan together put the finishing touches on this beautiful meal that tells a story on a plate about this lovely couple. It’s sustainably harvested, organic, modern with exciting notes of light prosecco and deeply soulful flavors from earthy mushroom sauce.
This meal eats like elevated comfort food heaven. The subtly nutty farro adds texture and is simply a more interesting than rice, it’s a refined touch; props to the WC. Pair this dish with a beautiful pinot noir and cute well-mannered kids the next time you want to fall in love all over again.
Cheers, to love. Thank you for sharing your story.
- splash of olive oil
- 2Tshallot, finely chopped
- ¼lb thick slice bacon, chopped into pieces
- 8 chukar pieces or protein of choice
- 2c mushrooms, sliced - your favorite variety
- 2c Prosecco & more in a glass for the chef
- ½c cream
- ½c chicken broth
- salt & pepper to taste
- handful chopped chives for garnish
- Toss the shallots in the frying pan with a bit of olive oil
- Add bacon pieces and allow to fry until the bacon has rendered fat.
- Brown the chicken pieces all over and remove from the pan.
- Remove from the pan.
- Add the mushrooms and allow to fry for a couple min
- Add the onion and bacon mixture along with the browned chicken back to the pan.
- Pour in the Prosecco and bring up the heat to boil.
- Reduce heat and cover for 20 min.
- Add a broth as the liquid reduces.
- After 20 minutes and add the cream.
- Bring the heat back up to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer again.
- Simmer or another 10 minutes while cream thickens.
- Total simmering time about 30 min.
- Serve over farrow or grain of choice, with a generous ladle of sauce.