Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

We ♥ Free Union Grass Farm Chicken

March 2, 2012

Happy Chicks at Free Union Grass Farm. Photo:

We’ve really enjoyed sharing local grass-fed, pastured beef and eggs from pastured chickens with our family and customers. It made us long for a local source of grass-fed, pastured chicken too. And now we are delighted to offer chickens from Free Union Grass Farm, right in our winery!

Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak, featured in Flavor Magazine. Photo: Molly McDonald Peterson

Owners Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak were featured in Flavor Magazine’s “Meet the Future of Farming” Issue. Self-described as “two farmer/foodies who decided to join passions and make a go of it”, Joel and Erica do a wonderful job raising the chickens humanely and healthily. We are happy to retail their whole chickens, legs and thighs, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and tenders.

Here’s an easy, super savory, and tender chicken roast from Robert Clickner of Blue Ridge Oriental Medicine. It’s “très facile” to make and goes great with a bottle of our lightly oaked 2010 Chardonnay!

Chicken Adobo


4 – 6 chicken legs cut up (leave skin on or take off, optional)

2 Tbsp red wine (substitute rice wine or red wine vinegar)

¾ cup soy sauce

½ cup water

15 clove buds

15 peppercorns

2 bay leaves broken in half

3 cloves garlic chopped

Throw all the ingredients in a Dutch Oven. The liquid does not have to completely cover the chicken.

Bring to a light boil on stovetop under moderate heat. Cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Occasionally stir so chicken on top gets submerged under the liquid.

Cook until the meat is darker from the liquid and loose on the bone. The minimum cooking time is 45 minutes.  Recommended cooking is at least 2 hours, up to 4 hours. If you plan to cook this long just keep the simmer very low. You’ll get much more flavor and nutrition this way.

Serve over rice.

*You can also marinade the meat in all of the ingredients overnight or for a few hours before making and then cook for more flavor.

Strain and save the sauce that is left over after you eat the meat. It is very tasty to make a pot of jasmine rice and pour the sauce over it for a light lunch.


A Grand Opening

July 12, 2011

All photos in this post © Thomas McGovern,

We had a great 4th of July Grand Opening Weekend and hope everyone who came out to help us celebrate did too!  Its not everyday that you get your friends, family, and neighbors all in one place listening to great music and munching on great food.  A very special thank you to Collins and Ramona Huff of Gryffon’s Aerie for sacrificing one of their beautiful home grown pigs in our honor and to Chef John McMillan for slicing and dicing it so perfectly.

The Pig Arrives!  Traveling in style.

We’d heard rumors that the pig was looking delicious, but when it showed up on its own trailor we knew the party was on.  Collins basted it with olive oil, garlic, and some light herbs and spices while it was cooking.  We served it up with his special Nilda’s Chimichurri sauce (see below for recipe) that we had made a few days before so the flavors could meld.

The Grill Master himself, Collins Huff of Gryffon’s Aerie


Left: A cool glass of Sugar Hollow White; Right: Johnny Mac goes to work 

Gayle, the latest addition to our Stinson Vineyards family, came up with some fresh, cooling sides that perfectly complemented The Pig.  She was inspired by the simple, effortless recipes in Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.  Its a great book to check out for easy, inspired grilling techniques for everything from lamb to veggies.

A full plate of delicious pork, roasted potatoes, and jalapeno coleslaw


More Cowbell

June 7, 2011

When we’re not drinking wine here at Stinson Vineyards, our beverage of choice happens to be milk. That’s because we are the proud owners of a Jersey milking cow named Amelia!

Meet Amelia.

Moooo. Amelia likes to eat.

She also likes to stand around in pastures looking pretty.

And, she loves to give us the delicious, creamy milk that Jerseys are notorious for. We make butter. Cheese. Yogurt. And lots and lots of ice cream.

My favorite milk recipe right now is Fromage Blanc. It is seriously easy to make, versatile, and you can flavor it a gazillion different ways. Eat it with everything! I promise it’s good.

Fromage Blanc:

Heat a gallon of milk to 86 degrees F. Add Fromage Blanc starter*, and mix thoroughly. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit out at room temperature for 12 hours. Ladle curd into a colander lined with butter muslin and drain for 12 hours, or until it is the consistency you want.

*We get our starter from Fifth Season in Charlottesville, but you can also find it online at


Putting Away the Garden’s Bounty for Winter

November 2, 2010

Vintage Ball Canning Guides, undated

Having extra food on hand whether it is home canned or dried, or purchased from a store seems prudent and responsible.  Aside from that, preserving your own food can be a fun project!  In the summer when we’re inundated with tomatoes, peppers, peaches, and apples it can seem as though there’s no end to them.  At times like these it’s a satisfying feeling to remind ourselves that nothing is wasted. Everything is put away and ready to bring back those memories of working in the sunny garden, especially when the ground is cold and resting during the winter.

There’s no one who so cheerfully puts away the garden’s bounties in such quantities as our neighbor George, who never met a tomato he didn’t like – red, yellow, orange, green “scratch and dents” as he calls them.  We’re grateful to sample many of his delicious garden and kitchen recipes and they’ve helped inspire our own.

This year Rebecca bought four habanero pepper plants and four cayenne pepper plants from a neighbor at the Crozet farmer’s market. They produced an abundance of beautiful orange and red peppers. We dried so many of them in the dehydrator that I don’t think we’ll have to plant those varieties again for a long time.  They’re still out in the garden even now, producing slower, but still producing into November!

The habanero plant.  Photo:


Baking with Becca: Summer Peaches

June 16, 2010

One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies.  We’ve been picking and buying fruit at Chiles Orchard, located nearby in Crozet, VA.  Not only do they have a variety of fruit such as strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and apples but they also sell yummy ice cream, baked goods, canned products, and doughnuts on a daily basis.  Check them out at for more information, fruit availability charts, and recipes.

We recently bought several pounds of sweet yellow peaches and while delicious on their own, there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence every once in a while..  Enter the Peach Pie!

Butterific Peach Pie


* Store bought butter pie crusts, or a recipe for two 9 inch pie crusts (My pie crust recipe is a secret for now!)

* 6 cups fresh sliced and skinned peaches

* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

* 1/4 cup white granulated sugar (more…)