Spring Chicken & A Nice Wine Pairing
contributed by Les Kincaid
It’s that time of year to freshen up your repertoire of chicken recipes with your choice of meals. Pair each choice with wine. It should be easy to prepare, and is light and bright for spring.
It’s why wine and chicken are so often matched together: Chicken’s mild taste goes as well with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon as it does with a delicate Pinot Grigio.
In fact, the wine you choose depends less on the chicken and more on the other ingredients in the chicken dish, like the sauce. Harmony is everything: A robustly flavored entrée like Honey-Rosemary Chicken and Bulgur with Parmesan Kale Salad needs an equally robust wine. But a lighter chicken dinner—Chicken and Spring Greens Skillet, for example—calls for a bright white wine. To increase your success with matching wine and food, analyze the flavors in the dish and not just the chicken .This recipe for example, calls for a bright white wine. To increase your success with matching wine and food, analyze the flavors in the dish. Yield: 4 servings
Spring Chicken with Greens
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12 basil leaves
8 mint leaves
8 cups mixed baby spring greens
1 yellow or red pepper, cut into bite-size strips
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup golden grape tomatoes
Squeeze orange for 1/4 cup juice; combine with vinegar and set aside.
Tear basil and mint into small pieces and toss with greens.
Cut pepper into small strips, slice garlic thinly, cut green onions.
Coat chicken with salt and pepper.
Line a serving platter with 2 cups greens mixture.
Preheat large nonstick sauté pan on medium high 2–3 minutes. Place chicken in pan and cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned and 165 degrees F. Transfer to cutting board.
Add bell pepper and garlic to pan; cook 3–4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown lightly, stirring occasionally. Stir in green onions and peas, and tomatoes; cook 3–4 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Add juice and vinegar mixture to pan. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds; remove from heat.
Stir in remaining greens mixture 1 cup at a time. Plate wilted green mixture over fresh greens on platter. Slice chicken and place over greens
Suggested Wine Pairing
Although most salads are often difficult to pair with wines because the vinegary dressing can make wines taste rather peculiar. That’s not so with this dressing. The fresh herbs—basil and mint—balance the balsamic-orange juice base, which means this salad works well with a range of wines, from a nice California Chardonnay to lighter reds such as an Oregon State Pinot Noir.
Les Kincaid hosts Wines Du Jour national/international syndicated food and wine radio show every Thursday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. He has taught food and wine appreciation classes through the UNLV Division of Educational Outreach for over 20 years.
Les is the author of the cookbook “Never Trust A Skinny Chef 2”.