Once again I have taken a recipe from the pages of Delish’s cookbook. Ease of prep and assembly count very high in my book. And this recipe rates 8 out of 10. Then the dish has to win at the table. This take on stuffed chicken breast is 9 out of 10. I took a point off because my photo (at right) is not as good as photo in the cookbook. So, one point off! As you can see, I’m a bit of a poor sport. The editors also note that this recipe can be modified in any number of ways. Instead of straight veggie, put in slices of ham, swiss cheese or whatever comes to mind! I served this chicken with a rice pilaf and the combination worked very well. A weeknight dish as we pivot into Spring! And could there be a better way to signal the arrival of the season than by popping the cork on a French Rosé? Slightly chilled, the Sainte-Croix “dances” with the Primavera Chicken Breast! Other wines that would work: Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Chenin Blanc, Greco di Tufo; OR a light red like Beaujolais Villages or a Grenache-based blend.
Château Sainte-Croix Charmeur Rosé ’18 (Provence, France)
Château Sainte-Croix Charmeur is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah sourced from a 15ha vineyard where the age of vines range from 30–40 yrs old. Yields are controlled to 55 hectoliters/hectare. Only biodynamic and sustainable viticulture is performed at the vineyards. The vines go through green harvests (snipping back immature buds to control clusters on the vine) and canopy management to control sun exposure. All harvesting is done at night to take advantage of the diurnal shifts and obtain better acid/sugar levels which is key when producing clean, crisp, balanced Provençal rosés. The word Charmeur, “charming” in English, is the perfect way to describe this top cuvée from Château Sainte-Croix. The wine offers hints of light strawberry and red raspberry cream on the nose, a soft fresh mouth-feel, with vibrant acidity and subtle minerality in the backend making it the perfect accompaniment for summer salads, grilled light fish dishes, fresh seafood or as an aperitif.
Primavera Stuffed Chicken Breast
6 ounces of Tanqueray Gin
½ ounce of Noilly
Pratt Dry Vermouth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly cut into half moons
3 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Freshly chopped parsley
- Put gin and vermouth into a glass pitcher, fill with ice, stir vigorously while incanting, “You who know all, thank you for providing us juniper and all the other obscure ingredients responsible for creating this sacred liquid!” Strain into a pre-frozen Martini glass of admirable size. Skewer the olives on one of those tacky cocktail swords, place in glass. Immediately begin consuming. Now you can begin the food prep, and the cooking!
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Make slits in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut thru completely, and stuff with zucchini,tomatoes, bell peppers and red onion.
- Drizzle with oil and season with Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Bake until chicken is cooked thru, and no longer pink inside. About 25 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.
n.b. I used yellow and green squash. And orange bell pepper. There is a high degree of flexibility in this recipe, which is another reason to love it!