Wine Country Zinfandel & Fig Glazed Chicken with Sonoma Rosemary

Wine Country Zinfandel & Fig Glazed Chicken with Sonoma Rosemary
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About This Recipe

In the heart of wine country, Napa's tapestry is woven with endless rows of grapevines, sunlight dappling through ancient oaks, and the sounds of laughter shared over a glass of exquisite wine. It is here, among the rolling hills and sun-kissed meadows, that the Wine Country Zinfandel & Fig Glazed Chicken with Sonoma Rosemary was born.

It was on one of those picture-perfect Napa days, when the valley was awash in golden hues, that I stumbled upon a grove of fig trees adjacent to a thriving Zinfandel vineyard. The beauty of this union, figs and grapes thriving side by side, was poetic. It whispered tales of nature's magic and serendipity. And so, inspired by this delightful sight and the promise of flavors melding in culinary harmony, our star dish was crafted.

Now, diving into the specifics, let's talk about pairing this chicken with the perfect sides. Think of a creamy polenta, slow-cooked and stirred with love, capturing the essence of an authentic valley chef's touch. Or a garden-fresh salad bursting with vibrant greens, juicy heirloom tomatoes, and a sprinkle of goat cheese from a local Napa dairy. For those seeking healthy dinner ideas, a side of roasted Brussel sprouts or asparagus, drizzled with olive oil sourced from a quaint Sonoma farm, could be delightful.

And desserts? Ah, imagine ending your meal with a lavender-infused crème brûlée or a rustic almond and pear tart, echoing the flavors of Napa's abundant orchards. Paired with a glass of late-harvest Zinfandel or perhaps a sip of dessert wine, it's the perfect finale to a wine country-inspired feast.

The secret, dear home chef, lies not just in the recipe, but where you source your ingredients. Wander down to Napa's Oxbow Public Market or perhaps the Sonoma Farmers Market, and you'll find stalls laden with the freshest produce, embodying the farm-to-table ethos that Napa and Sonoma hold dear.

For the wine aficionados among you, pairing this chicken is a journey unto itself. A bottle of Zinfandel from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, with its lush raspberry undertones and hint of black tea, is an impeccable match. However, if you lean towards white wines, a chilled glass of Chardonnay from Cakebread Cellars or perhaps Gundlach Bundschu in Sonoma, with its notes of crisp apple and subtle oak, can create a beautiful contrast.

This dish is not just about flavors; it's a sensory experience. Each bite, each sip, takes you on a stroll through the vineyards, under the canopy of California skies, and into the heart of wine country. It echoes the stories of generations of winemakers, the passion of chefs who've made the valley their culinary playground, and the spirit of Napa and Sonoma, where nature and man come together in a symphony of flavors.

And as you embark on this culinary adventure, here's a tip: tucked away in a corner of downtown Calistoga is a charming little bookshop, laden with vintage cookbooks and tales of Napa's rich culinary history. It's a hidden gem, a treasure trove for every home chef and wine lover.

Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Zinfandel Wine

Zinfandel is not just another red wine; it's an embodiment of richness and complexity that is deeply rooted in California's viticulture history. Hailing predominantly from the Wine Country regions like Napa and Sonoma, Zinfandel wines are recognized for their robust fruity profile, boasting flavors of blackberries, cherries, and sometimes even a hint of black tea or pepper. A classic Zinfandel often carries with it a zesty zest and spicy finish, making it an exceptional ingredient to infuse dishes with a deep, tantalizing flavor. When used in cooking, this wine accentuates the natural flavors of the ingredients, allowing for a harmonious fusion of taste and aroma.

How to Achieve the Perfect Wine Reduction

  1. Choose a Good Quality Wine: Even when cooking, the quality of your wine matters. Always use a wine that you'd enjoy drinking. This ensures the flavor profile of the dish remains top-notch.
  2. Simmer Slowly: Heat the wine on a low to medium setting. Avoid bringing it to a boil as that can burn off the nuanced flavors.
  3. Stir Occasionally: To prevent the wine from sticking to the bottom of the pan, stir occasionally. This also helps in achieving an even consistency.
  4. Monitor Consistency: As the wine reduces, it'll thicken and become more syrupy. Ensure you monitor the consistency closely to achieve the desired thickness for your glaze.

FAQs About Wine Country Zinfandel & Fig Glazed Chicken

  1. Can I use dried figs instead of fresh ones? Absolutely! If using dried figs, soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes before using. This will rehydrate them and make them tender.
  2. What's the best way to store leftovers? Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The glaze can be refrigerated separately and reheated when serving.
  3. Any suggestions for Zinfandel wine substitutes? If you don't have Zinfandel on hand, you can use other red wines like Grenache, Merlot, or even a Syrah. Keep in mind, each wine will bring a slightly different flavor profile to the dish.
  4. Is this dish gluten-free? Yes, this dish is naturally gluten-free. However, always check the labels of any additional ingredients or wines you use to ensure they don't contain gluten.
  5. Can I use dried rosemary instead of fresh? Fresh rosemary is preferred for its vibrant flavor. However, if using dried, the general rule of thumb is to use 1/3 the amount called for when substituting dried for fresh.

Tips for Success

  1. Chicken Skin Crispiness: To achieve perfectly crispy chicken skin, ensure your skillet is hot before placing the chicken in. This sears the skin, locking in juices and achieving that golden-brown finish.
  2. Freshness Matters: Using fresh, quality ingredients, especially the Zinfandel wine and figs, will significantly enhance the flavor profile of the dish.
  3. Resting the Chicken: Always allow your chicken to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This ensures the juices redistribute, resulting in moist and flavorful meat.

Savor the flavors of Napa Valley in each bite, and let this dish transport you to the sun-drenched vineyards of Wine Country. Enjoy!

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Wine Country Zinfandel & Fig Glazed Chicken with Sonoma Rosemary
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Fall
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
415
Prep Time:
PT15M
Cook Time:
PT35M
Total Time:
PT50M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Zinfandel wine (preferably from Wine Country)
  • 8 fresh figs, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 sprigs fresh Sonoma rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine Zinfandel, figs, honey, and half of the chopped rosemary. Simmer on low heat until it reduces by half and takes on a syrupy consistency.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  3. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and the remaining chopped rosemary.
  4. Place the chicken skin-side down in the skillet. Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken to skin-side up and brush generously with the Zinfandel and fig glaze.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.
  7. Halfway through the roasting time, brush the chicken with additional glaze.
  8. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Drizzle with any remaining glaze and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs before serving.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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