Blogs, Recipes

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala with Cauliflower rice

Perfect for weekend OR weeknight cooking, this is one chicken recipe you will make time and time again. This Chicken Marsala recipe is equally as good as what you’ll get at an Italian restaurant so it’s the perfect thing to make on your own, and of course a great dish to serve to guests. It’s a classic dish that does not disappoint!

It’s no wonder it’s one of the most ordered chicken dishes in restaurants! Made with golden, crispy, pan-fried chicken, crispy prosciutto, a mushroom-filled creamy Marsala wine sauce and a good kick of garlic, this Chicken Marsala recipe is next-level!

So let’s talk about wine pairings. You don’t want to go too big with this dish. A big red like a Cabernet will overwhelm not only the chicken, but the subtle sweetness of the Marsala sauce. You’re better off going with a full bodied white like Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted™ Chardonnay, or Pinot Gris. Not a white wine fan? Go for a light to medium bodied red like Pinot Noir. 

So there you have it, my easy and delicious Chicken Marsala recipe, and the wines that I recommend with it. Crack open a bottle of something awesome, and get cooking. 

INGREDIENTS 

For the chicken:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly grounded pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Marsala sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced and diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 small shallots chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • flat leaf parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 200°F. 

Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Pound the chicken thin. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, place inside a gallon zip-top bag and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even 1/4-inch thickness. 

Set the flattened chicken breast aside and repeat with the remaining breasts.

Return the flattened breasts to the bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. 

Add the butter, followed by 2 of the chicken breasts. Fry until golden-brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. 

Remove the browned chicken to a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts. 

Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and place in the oven to keep warm.

Keep the heat on medium-high. If there isn’t grease left from frying the chicken, add up to 2 tablespoons more butter to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat

Add the mushrooms and cook until their juices start to release, about 3 minutes.

Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Add the Marsala and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned pieces. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half and starting to thicken, about 15 minutes.

Add the cream and return the chicken to the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is well-coated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Plate the chicken, then top it with the mushrooms and sauce, and garnish with chopped parsley. Viola, fini! 

That was easy huh!? Why go to an Italian restaurant and pay $15-20 when it’s so easy to do at home?

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen

Blogs, Recipes

Dijon Chicken

Dijon Chicken

This chicken with creamy dijon mustard sauce is an easy and fast weeknight meal. The chicken thighs and sauce are all cooked in the same skillet, making clean-up a breeze.

Chicken thighs are easy to use without worrying too much about drying out the meat. They are juicy, flavorful and so versatile they go with absolutely anything! The Dijon adds amazing flavor to this creamy sauce. This is a true weeknight meal, ready in just over a half an hour from start to finish.

The sauce comes together quickly. Sauté diced onions and garlic in butter until softened, and then simmer with a little white wine, thyme, and of course, mustard. Stir in the heavy cream at the end to finish the creamy sauce.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. For a low-carb meal, serve the chicken alone or with some roasted or steamed vegetables.

Pour yourself a glass of Scout and Cellar FIDDLENECK CHARDONNAY and you have yourself a restaurant style meal!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 chicken thighs; boneless skin-on
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence- or you can use Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee/unsalted butter
  • ½  yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup white wine; I used Chardonnay
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup milk or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons country mustard or old-style mustard
  • 4 sprigs of thyme leaves only
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat for 1 minute and add the oil. Heat the oil until shimmering but not smoking.

While the oil heats, season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Cook the chicken, skin-side down until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Flip the thighs over and cook for another 4 minutes. 

Transfer the chicken, skin-side up, to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. 

Set the heat to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet.

Add onion and sauté about 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds, stirring often.

Slowly add the wine to the skillet and stir (scraping to deglaze any tasty brown bits stuck to the skillet).

Add the broth, cream, three mustards and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.

Nestle the partially cooked chicken (skin-side up) in the skillet with the sauce. Be sure to leave a little space between each thigh for the sauce to seep through.

Cook, uncovered, at 375°F for 30-35 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 165°F on a meat thermometer. The sauce should reduce to about halfway.

Note: If the sauce is still too thin when the chicken is ready, remove the skillet from the oven, set the chicken aside and cover it with foil. Reduce the sauce stovetop, over medium-low heat, until it thickens to desired consistency.

Note: If the sauce is reducing too quickly while cooking, add a little more cream, wine & broth halfway through the cooking time.

Enjoy

Blogs, Recipes

Citrus Tuna Steak

Grilled Tuna is super easy to cook. Throw it in a hot pan or on the grill, flip after a couple minutes and voila – you’re done.

In this recipe, I start by marinating the tuna in a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. The trick is to marinate the tuna for only 15 minutes. If you’ve ever made ceviche, you know that acid from the citrus can cook the fish. You want to avoid that in this recipe. Don’t discard the marinade! Instead, transfer it to a small sauce pan and reduce. You will want to drizzle this over the seared ahi at serving time.

There are several ways to sear ahi tuna. A nonstick skillet will do the trick, but I like to use a grill pan, to get those nice grill marks. Either way, medium-high heat will produce a good sear.

Since the goal is to serve the tuna with a good sear on the outside but still raw in the center, the tuna doesn’t need to be cooked any longer than 2 to 3 minutes per side. That being said, if you’d like your tuna a little more well done, feel free to increase the cooking time. I love to serve this over garlic sauteed spinach but it is also tasty over rice. 

For the wine, this pairs perfectly with Scout and Cellar GALLIVANT SAUVIGNON BLANC! This wine is lively and fruit-forward with white peach, guava, key lime and candy balanced by a subtle minerality on a bright frame with a juicy finish. Pairs perfectly with Thai or Vietnamese takeaway and a few episodes of your new favorite series.

Ingredients

  • 2 tuna steak (ahí or yellowfin)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbs. Liquid Aminos or Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime, plus the zest
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups spinach

Instructions

Season both sides of the tuna with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, zest and sugar. Add the fish and marinate for at least 15 minutes. 

In a small skillet heat the last 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the spinach and wilt slightly. Toss in a teeny pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the fish from the marinade and grill (or sear) for 2 minutes on each side. Keep it rare in the center. PLEASE!

Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and reduce until it becomes thick, 2 minutes.

Place the wilted spinach on a plate and top with the grilled fish, followed by the sliced avocado and a nice drizzle of the reduction.

Blogs, Recipes

Sticky Salmon in Parchment Paper

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious and healthy dinner, this salmon in parchment paper is the perfect recipe. The salmon is cooked in a parchment paper pouch creating an almost mess free dinner that’s not only easy, but yummy! Best part? It’s ready in just about thirty minutes. Just mix up a handful of pantry staples, pour over top, fold up the parchment paper, and bake. Every bite is sweet and savory!

We’ve been looking for ways to reduce our calories and eat healthier. In this recipe, you’ll notice Liquid Aminos and may be asking yourself, what is that? 

Liquid Aminos look and taste similar to soy sauce. It is made by fermenting coconut sap with salt and water or treating soybeans with an acidic solution to break them down into free amino acids. It adds a savory, salty flavor to meals and is naturally vegan and gluten-free. You can find it at most grocery stores. Can’t find Liquid Aminos, you can use Soy sauce. 

So here’s the story behind the parchment paper. I wanted to make an easy clean up dish- it’s been a crazy week. So I thought I’d make salmon in a foil packet. I opened my pantry and to my surprise… No foil! I’ve been reading about French cuisine and I remember reading about Salmon en Papillote, which translates to Salmon enveloped in paper! I had plenty of parchment paper and so this recipe was born!

By cooking the salmon in a parchment paper packet, you’re creating an envelope for your food to cook inside of. Not only does this save on mess and dishes, but cooking your food in parchment steams the food and cooks everything in their own juices. Cooking food this way preserves nutrients and creates an insane amount of flavor because all of the aromas are trapped inside. You can add vegetables into the packet with the salmon. I served mine with side salad.

How to make the parchment paper packet?

  1. Creating the packet isn’t difficult, but it requires a particular shape and folding technique. 
  2. Fold a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment in half, then cut it so that it’ll be shaped like a heart when you unfold it.
  3. Cut a 12-by16-inch piece of parchment paper for each piece of salmon you’re cooking and fold it in half. Using scissors, cut the folded paper into half of a heart, then unfold. 
  4. Brush both sides of the paper lightly with olive oil.
  5. Place your salmon to one side of the creased line down the middle of the heart. Pour the sauce over the salmon. 
  6. Fold the other half of the heart over the salmon. Starting at the pointy end—the bottom of the heart—fold the edge of the parchment paper in small, overlapping triangles. This helps create a tight seal, making sure that the salmon will cook in its own juices and not dry out or lose flavor.
  7. And that’s it! Just transfer each packet to a dinner plate, cut a small opening in the paper, pull apart the packet and devour the contents. You’ll barely even need to wash the plates.

Looking for a wine?

Scout & Cellar Hushkeeper Pinot Gris is the perfect pairing! Zippy-yet-balanced with lemon, pear, and underripe pineapple on a medium-bodied frame with a bright finish. For this Pinot Gris, grapes were picked by hand from dry-farmed vines planted over 30 years ago. After harvest, the grapes were pressed and placed in stainless steel vessels where they fermented for 3 weeks. The wine then aged in stainless steel until bottling, unfined and lightly filtered with natural bentonite clay.

Now that you know all the whys and hows, let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1/4 cup Lite Maple syrup (yes the kind for pancakes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (or reduced sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parchment paper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, Sriracha and pepper, to taste.

Take two pieces of parchment paper, fold in half, and cut a half-circle starting at each crease. They should look similar to a heart-shape when unfolded. 

Brush each piece of parchment with olive oil on both sides.

Place the one piece of salmon in the middle of one side of a prepared parchment paper. 

Pour the ginger syrup mixture over the salmon. Save the rest of the sauce for serving. 

Fold the other half of the circle over and seal the parchment edge by making overlapping folds around the edge. At the end, fold the last crease in the opposite direction of the rest to ensure it seals. 

Repeat with the second piece of prepared parchment and remaining ingredients. 

Place pouches on a baking sheet.

Place into the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.(Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the salmon).

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting open parchment. 

The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Drizzle the salmon with the leftover sauce. 

Serve immediately.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen

Recipes

Honey Orange Glazed Grouper

This Honey Orange Glazed Grouper is a citrusy sweet recipe that I guarantee you’ll have on repeat. A quick and delicious dinner that will be  on the table in no time! Perfect for a healthy lunch, weeknight dinner or a dinner party! To make this easy fish dinner you need less than 30 minutes, isn’t it great?

And it keeps getting better and better! You can use this sauce for just about anything from fish, shrimp, chicken or as a salad dressing. It’s very versatile and delicious!

I love experimenting with new marinades and sauces. And really love using orange marmalade in my homemade salad dressings so I figured it would be great in this recipe. The outcome? Amazingly delicious! You’ll want to drizzle the sauce on all your side dishes too. So I recommend pouring about ¼ cup of the prepaped sauce into a separate bowl and save for the table. 

What to serve with this dish?

Cold Zucchini noodle salad or steamed Broccoli, pan fried Asparagus.

Want a starch? Couscous or rice are also great choices, but anything will do as long as you like it.

Grab a bottle of Scout and Cellar 2019 FIELDHOUSE WHITE BLEND and you have yourself one delicious meal! The taste? Under ripe peach, under ripe apricot and white flowers with refreshing acidity that hangs on so the wine finishes clean; as the wine warms, notes of pear and honey emerge.

TIP:

I covered my broiler pan with foil then sprayed it with non-stick Olive oil spray, which is a real clean up saver.  The honey makes the grouper crispy and crackly and tastes like heaven, but makes cleaning up no fun.  What good is a quick dinner if you are scrubbing the pan all night, right? 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound grouper fillets
  • 2  tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • ¾  teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions

Preheat broiler.

Combine all ingredients except grouper, mixing well.

Season filets with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place fillets on an oiled broiler pan and brush fillets with honey glaze to cover.

Broil or 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip fillets, brush with honey glaze and broil for an additional 2 minutes, then brush with honey glaze and broil for additional 1-2 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

*Don’t have a broiler pan? No worries! You can use a baking sheet. Don’t forget to cover it with foil and oil it for easy clean up!

Blogs, Recipes

Blue Cheese Burgers with Red Wine-Onion Jam and Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings

Are you looking for a delicious Memorial Day recipe? Look no more!

Burgers are one of summer’s classic dishes and an ever-popular pick at backyard barbecues everywhere! Not only are these burgers a cinch to make but they are the tastiest burgers you will ever eat! 

I love using Italian sausage in my burgers! It is a  smart shortcut, because the meat is already seasoned. Caramelized red onions are tasty in their own right, but simmered in a sweet/spicy mix of red wine, honey and herbs, they turn into the most delicious jam ever. And it is a perfect addition to these Blue Cheese Burgers!

Brian and I love to top these burgers with homemade Beer Battered Onion Rings! I included our recipe below. It’s delicious! Not a beer fan? Sub in any other carbonated beverage, including ginger ale, club soda or your favorite soft drink.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½  pound ground Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 hamburger buns, split

Red Wine-Onion Jam Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat your grill to high heat.

Mix the meat and blue cheese in a large bowl until combined. 

Shape the meat into four burgers, each about 1 inch thick.

Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place the burgers on the grill and grill until golden brown, three to four minutes. 

Turn the burgers over and continue grilling to medium, about three minutes longer. 

Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest while you grill the buns.

Butter the cut sides of the buns and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, butter side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 30 seconds.

Place the burgers on top of the bun and spoon some onion jam on each burger. Top with the buns and serve immediately.

Red Wine-Onion Jam

– makes 3/4 cup –

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan on the grates of the grill or on a stovetop over medium-low heat.

Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine, vinegar, honey, and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, five to seven minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 

The jam can be made two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pale ale beer 
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour with the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk in the beer until the mixture is well combined. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

While the batter rests, cut the tip off of the stem side of the onions then remove the peel. Slice the onions horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rings and toss them with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (Dutch oven) to a depth of 2 inches and heat it over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375°F.

Working in batches, dip the onion rings into the prepared batter, shaking off any excess, then immediately drop them into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Allow the onions to cook in the oil, flipping them once to guarantee even browning, for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Immediately season them with salt. Repeat the coating and frying process, returning the oil to 375°F between batches, with the remaining onions.

TIPS: 

When measuring beer, don’t include the foamy head in your measurement. 

Shake off as much of the excess batter as possible when coating the onion rings in order to get the best ratio of onion to batter.

Blogs, Recipes

Grouper Piccata

Living in Florida has many benefits, sunny days, beautiful beaches, and it also comes with the benefits of AMAZING fresh fish. 

I was lucky enough to grab some grouper fillets from my local fish market but you can also score some at your store’s frozen section. If you are unable to find grouper fillets, you can use snapper, cod, catfish or even chicken. 

This sauce highlights the fish without taking over. In this recipe, I use a simple piccata sauce with lemon and capers to create an easy meal that everyone will love! Oh, and this is a one pan dish! Hello easy clean up! 🙂

I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan but since I received a bottle of Scout & Cellar Fiddleneck Chardonnay I thought I’d give it a try. I am now a Chardonnay fan! The Fiddleneck Chardonnay is the perfect pairing to this recipe! It’s not oaky like most Chardonnays I have tried in the past. It’s light and refreshing with notes of yellow apple, candied lemon peel, and ripe pineapple. It truly is delicious with the buttery lemon flavor of the grouper piccata! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 6-ounce grouper fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

Sprinkle grouper fillets with salt and pepper. 

Dredge fillets on all sides in flour. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil in a large skillet. 

Add fillets to skillet; cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove fish from skillet.

Add garlic, lemon juice and wine to the skillet, scraping browned bits from the pan. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine. 

Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. 

Tip: if the sauce is too bitter, just add ¼ cup of chicken broth at a time. 

Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, capers and parsley.

Serve sauce over fish.

I served mine with a side of angel hair pasta and baby broccoli.

Blogs, Recipes

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Butter Risotto

I love risotto! I much rather have a bowl of risotto than Mac and Cheese any day of the week. 

I’m not going to lie to you. This creamy risotto is hands on. You do have to stand there and stir, and add liquid, and stir, and monitor. But I promise it is worth every minute! My friend Amy says risotto is a labor of love. 

I have several risotto recipes, that’s how much I love it!

This recipe is  buttery with hints of lemon! And the roasted garlic takes it up a notch! 

Roast Garlic is absolutely delicious! It will fill your house with the most irresistible, and mouth-watering aromas imaginable. I’m talking about the whole head of garlic roasted with olive oil until each individual clove is completely golden and butter-soft. It will just squeeze out! Roasted garlic is perfect for spreading a piece of bread or mashing into dishes like this risotto. 

This risotto recipe is a perfect side with baked cod or breaded chicken!

Looking for wine to compliment this dish?

Try the Scout & Cellar 2019 ADELANTE SAUVIGNON BLANC, bright and clean with lemongrass, lime zest and green apple balanced by a subtle minerality on a zesty, light-bodied frame with a refreshing finish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic, roasted- see instructions below
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 tablespoon. Brandy, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon. chopped fresh chives

Roasted Garlic 

  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Roast Garlic 

Heat the oven to 400°F: Set a rack in the middle position.

Peel (most of) the paper off the garlic

Leave the head itself intact with all the cloves connected.

Trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.

Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic, letting the oil sink down into the cloves.

Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Risotto

In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth stock to boiling; keep hot over low heat.

In a 2-1/2-quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to foam and turns brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add shallots, onions  and cook, stirring until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Stir in rice until coated with butter. Make a well in the middle of the coated risotto and squeeze the roasted garlic into the pot. Stir until combined. 

Add brandy and simmer, stirring, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of broth and lemon juice and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add lemon zest and stir until combined. 

Continue adding broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each batch to absorb before pouring in the next. Cook until rice is tender but still firm to the bite, 15 to 20 minutes total. 

Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon of the chives; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer risotto to two serving plates and garnish with remaining chives.

Recipes

Citrus Sazon Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken is the best, easiest way to cook a whole chicken on the grill without any special equipment. The beer from the can steams the chicken, resulting in a perfectly-cooked and moist whole chicken. The chicken literally sits on the can and as the beer heats up, it streams and flavours the inside of the chicken. 

I start with marinating the chicken with  Sazon seasoning, vinegar, and stuffing lemon, lime and orange wedges inside the chicken overnight. 

Sazon is like the magic spice blend in many Latin dishes. It’s commonly found in the supermarket in small envelopes that you add to stews, beans, rice, etc. It gives yellow rice that yellow color and basically makes anything taste good! Goya is the most popular brand. If you can not find Sazon you can make your own, the recipe is at the bottom of this blog page. 

Next comes choosing the beer! 

Beer can chicken requires beer in a can. However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy canned beer. All you need is a can. I personally prefer to use an old soup can that I have cleaned and saved. Which opens up your beer possibilities immensely because many of the best beers are only sold in bottles. So it comes down to what type of flavor you want to add to your chicken. Does a sweeter bird sound good? How about something a little spicy, wheaty, or fruity? 

The most popular choice is lager, but I also like to use sour beer. I love citrus flavors, and the sour citrus seems to make the flavors come alive. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Get creative! 

Once you have marinated your chicken and chose the beer, you’re get the bird on the can and to get grilling! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (12-ounce) can lager beer, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoon Sazon Seasoning
  • 1 cup White distilled vinegar
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 lime,  cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2) pound whole chicken

Basting Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup beer, reserved from above
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Sazon seasoning
  • 1 Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Marinate:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. 

Place lemon, lime and orange wedges into the center of the chicken. 

Stir the Sazon seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. 

Pour the seasoning mixture into a large Ziploc bag, slowly pour vinegar, and EVOO into the same bag. Combine. 

Drop the chicken into the bag, zip the bag and shake until the chicken is well coated.

Marinate overnight. 

Basting Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. 

Grilling:

Heat grill by heating 2 out of 3 (or 3 out of 4) of the burners to high heat. Keep the remaining burners off. 

Pour out or drink about half of the beer, reserving 1/4 cup for the basting sauce. 

Place the beer can inside a metal 9×13-inch aluminum pan. Lower the chicken leg-side down onto the beer until it is securely propped upright. Be careful when picking the pan up, have a firm grip on the chicken with one hand while holding the foil pan with the other. Trust me, I’ve totally lost my chicken by not doing that. 

Place the pan over indirect heat (over the turned-off burners) and grill for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the basting sauce. At this point, it will start to brown and look almost cooked through, even though it is not.

Baste the chicken with the sauce and continue to cook, covered, basting every 10 minutes, until the skin is deeply colored, crisp, and a probe thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh registers 165°F, about 25 to 35 minutes more depending the size of the chicken. 

Rotate the pan as needed so that the chicken browns evenly.

Remove the chicken and the pan with its drippings from the grill. (If you use a foil pan, slide the pan onto a baking sheet before moving it around)

Discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Sazon Substitute Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano 

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix well

Recipes

Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved going to Disney World. It is definitely my happy place!

I have so many amazing memories, from camping at Fort Wilderness to birthday celebrations at Epcot’s Food & Wine festival. 

Epcot is my favorite park to visit especially when they are hosting one of their festivals; Food & Wine Festival, Art Festival or the Flower & Garden Festival. 

Epcot’s festivals combine my love for Disney, food and wine. Honestly, what could be better than hopping around the World Showcase and sampling new foods, drinks and rubbing elbows with Disney fans? 

Brian and I always enter Epcot, in the back by the United Kingdom. We have a beer at the Rose and Crown while I flip through the festival’s passport, which contains the menus for each World Showcase Booth and a sticker to use to mark off that you have visited. Yes, I am a complete passport geek, every time we stop at a World Showcase booth, I have to check off the foods and drinks we have tried. 

So when I saw Disney had a cookbook with recipes from all their festivals including the festivals at Disneyland, I couldn’t resist. I had to have it. 

After purchasing the cookbook, Brian and I took a margarita break in Mexico like we normally do. I’m a huge fan of the Three Caballeros ride and the margaritas in Mexico. As we sipped our margaritas, we looked through the cookbook. I was so excited to see so many of our favorite dishes from the festivals and some new ones I couldn’t wait to make at home! 

During the Food & Wine festival, we absolutely loved the Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt at the Islands of the Caribbean booth. And guess what the recipe was in the cookbook! And here lays the inspiration for the recipe below! 

My parents are retired and love to travel. They recently bought me a Island Jamican Jerk Spice seasoning back from one of their cruise vacations. So this is the Jerk seasoning, I used but you can find a number of different types of Jerk seasonings at your local grocery store. 

In a large ziploc bag, toss chicken, 3 tablespoons of the Jerk seasoning and 1 tablespoon canola oil until chicken is completely coated. Refrigerate for one to two hours, the longer you allow the chicken to marinate the more flavor you will have. After the chicken has marinated, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and remove chicken from the ziploc bag. Place chicken on grill grates and grill for approximately 10-12 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Rest for 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate, cover lightly with foil, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Mango Chutney

You can use a store bought Mango chutney or you can make your own. It is simple and turns out delicious. Chutney is made much the same way as you would make a fruit jam, but with vinegar to offset the sweetness, making it more appropriate for savory dishes. This chutney is spicy from ginger, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes. It gets its tangy-ness from the acidity in the mangoes and added vinegar, and it gets its sweetness from the mangoes and sugar. It pairs great with almost anything from his chicken, to a spread on a cheese board.

To make the sugar vinegar syrup, combine sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the peeled chopped mangoes, and chopped onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Leave the saucepan uncovered and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until syrupy and slightly thickened. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Mango Chutney Yogurt

Whisk 1 cup plain yogurt and 2 ½ tablespoons of the Mango chutney with chopped cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until dinner time. 

Sweet Plantain Salad

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and brush a baking sheet with canola oil. 

Your plantains have to be ripe. The best thing to do is buy them a few days before you are going to make this dish. Plantains may look like bananas but they do not peel like one. Ripe plantains are a lot easier to peel. To peel a plantain, you will need to cut off the ends of the plantain, run your knife lengthwise through the skin of the plantain without cutting into the flesh, and finally, use your hands to pull the skin off. If some of the skin doesn’t peel off, use a vegetable peeler to remove the “stuck” skin. Place your peeled whole plantains on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for an additional 15 minutes. After a total of 25-30 minutes, plantains should be lightly golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut into bite-size chunks. 

While the plantains are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad. In a small bowl, combine Apple Cider Vinegar and chopped garlic, whisk together. Slowly add the canola oil, whisking as you add it to the bowl. Chop your red onion, peppers, cilantro and place into a large bowl with the plantain chunks. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until everything is well combined. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal. 

Once everything is done, it’s time to plate it up! In true Epcot fashion, take a scoop of the Sweet Plantain Salad and place it in the middle of a plate. Lay the grilled chicken on top and serve with a dollop of the Mango Chutney Yogurt. I also drizzled some of the Mango chutney over the top of the chicken and sprinkled chopped cilantro on top. 

During the Stay at Home Order, I have definitely been missing trips to Epcot but this meal made me feel like I was taking a trip around the World Showcase. 

This is a great recipe to make for a summer cookout yet it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Trust me, you will love it!

INGREDIENTS

Jerk Chicken

  • 4 Chicken thighs and 4 Chicken drumsticks or 8 Chicken Breast
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite Jerk Spice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Sweet Plantain Salad

  • 3 medium or 2 very large ripe plantains (they should have some black spots and be slightly soft) 
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil, plus more for roasting the plantains
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Mango Chutney, or you can buy the jar stuff

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 cups mangoes (2 to 3), peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces 
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 
  • ½ tablespoon ginger
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes 

Mango Chutney Yogurt

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Mango chutney
  • 2 ½ tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Jerk Chicken Instructions

  • Toss chicken, jerk seasoning and canola oil in a large ziploc bag, until chicken is coated. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. 
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before grilling. 
  • Preheat the grill to medium- high heat. 
  • Remove chicken from the jerk marinade and place on a medium to high lightly oil grill. 
  • Grill chicken for approximately 10-12 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also broil, or roast the chicken in a hot oven (425 degrees F).
  • Rest for 10 minutes. Remove chicken thighs to a plate or serving tray, cover lightly with foil, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Sweet Plantain Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and brush a baking sheet with canola oil. 
  • To peel plantains, cut off the ends from both sides. Then cut a long strip down the length of the plantain without piercing the fruit. Remove the fruit from the peel. 
  • Place peeled whole plantains on the prepared baking sheet and roast until tender and golden brown on both sides, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. 
  • Combine Apple Cider Vinegar and chopped garlic, whisk together. Slowly add the canola oil, whisking as you add it to the bowl. 
  • Chop your red onion, peppers, cilantro and place into a large bowl with the plantain chunks. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until everything is well combined. 
  • Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal. 

Mango Chutney, if not using store bought

  • Combine sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking.

Mango Chutney Yogurt

  • Stir together yogurt, mango chutney and cilantro. 
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  • Serve Jerk Chicken on top of Sweet Plantain salad with a scoop of Mango Chutney Yogurt and garnish with chopped cilantro.