Fall is finally upon us although you’d never know it if you stepped outside. Still 90+ degrees out and the humidity is enough to frizz even the most diligently straightened hair (trust me – I know!) In keeping with the aforementioned weather pattern, I’ve decided to do some grilling tonight. Not your standard go outside and crank up the grill, man-grilling – I mean the stand in your kitchen and avoid the frizzed hair grilling on your handy kitchen grill pan.
We received a grill pan as a wedding gift and I have to say it is one of my favorite and most used kitchen gifts (thanks, Milt & Diane!). It’s perfect for steaks, chicken, fish – you name it – especially for a quick, weeknight dinner when you don’t want to deal with cranking up the outside grill for whatever reason (like you don’t know how to turn it on?) The grill pan also creates those beautiful grill marks and cooks food in no time. If you don’t have one already I highly recommend getting one. Then you can grill any night of the year regardless of weather conditions or motivation level.
The Citrus Chicken Caribbean is another fabulous, user friendly chicken dish from “Savor the Moment”. I decided to go with the Tropical Tomato Salad to accompany it - I loved the sound of mangoes, tomatoes, curry powder and fresh basil... and I just happened to have a nice little Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the fridge to go with. This one is from the Marlborough region of New Zealand which is known for producing excellent Sauvignon Blancs. Like most Sauvignon Blancs this wine is fermented in stainless steel to help it retain its crisp, citrus and fruit flavors. It also received a 92 point rating and retails for under $20.
Citrus Chicken Caribbean (pg. 171)
Tropical Tomato Salad (p. 128)
2008 Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
First, I prepped the chicken and got that marinating (of course I knew this beforehand because I read through the entire recipe!) It has to marinate for 2 hours - definitely reasonable and allowed me to prep the salad with ample time to spare. The salad was pretty easy too, as long as you are familiar with how to slice a mango and deal with the pit. The pit is essentially flat so you need to cut alongside it, separating the flesh from the pit. For detailed instructions check out: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_a_mango/ . Once everything is sliced, just alternate the tomato and mango on a platter and drizzle with that delicious dressing. The color combination makes a beautiful presentation and it definitely tastes as good as it looks.
Once I was ready to cook the chicken, I heated up the grill pan, drained the marinade and popped the boneless, skinless breasts in the pan. You don’t want to crowd the pan so if you are doing all 6 chicken breasts do them in 2 batches. Once done, the chicken had the beautiful grill marks and a nice light char on it from the marinade which had a wonderful flavor. You could really taste the delicious ginger, garlic and citrus. With its mouth watering crisp, citrus and mineral flavors, the wine paired very well with both dishes.
And there you have it, a nice “it’s-not-quite-fall-yet” summer dinner that you and your family will enjoy. And you don’t even have to step outside to make it!