A side benefit to a subscription to the New York Times – not that I need one – are the wonderful food columns. This recipe from Martha Rose Shulman is a great weeknight meal because it comes together quickly. Tonight, the dish was paired with a delightful and slightly mineral-ly Assyrtiko from Santorini which I picked up on recommendation from Tutto Bene Wine and Cheese Shop. Both of us were more than a little unfamiliar with the wines of Greece (click the link above for NYTimes Wine School article about Santorini wines), but this one was definitely a home run ~ Thanks Wendi! Tasting notes follow the recipe.
Lemon and Garlic Chicken With Mushrooms
Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 TBSP lemon juice (use the fresh stuff for best flavor)
- 2 garlic cloves minced or pureed
- 1 tsp chopped FRESH rosemary
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP grapeseed, sunflower or canola oil (I substituted Olive Oil)
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 TBSP chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Assyrtiko – cook with what you drink as Julia Child would say)
- Stir together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Here’s where I deviated from the original recipe: I pounded the chicken breasts BEFORE adding to the marinade, so if you want to try that as well, go to Step 2 now). Add the chicken to the marinade (I always marinate raw fish or poultry in a zip bag for food safety). Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes (or, if you do this prep earlier in the day, the extra time in the marinade doesn’t seem to hurt anything).
- Place 2 sheets of plastic wrap on your work surface, overlapping slightly, to make 1 wide sheet and brush lightly with oil. Cover the chicken with another wide layer of plastic wrap. Working from the center to the outside, pound chicken breast with the flat side of a meat tenderizer (or if you don’t have one, I found a heavy rolling pin works fairly well) until the chicken is about 1/4 inch thick. [If you are doing this step prior to adding the poultry to the marinade, go back and finish up step 1, and if not…. be sure to pat the chicken breasts dry BEFORE pounding] At this point I cut the chicken breasts in half so that there were 4 pieces altogether.
- Season the pounded chicken breasts with salt and pepper on one side only. Dredge lightly in the flour and tap to remove excess.
- Turn oven on low (this is for holding the chicken after cooking). Heat a wide heavy skillet over high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, place one or two pieces of chicken in the pan – do not over-crowd. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes, until bottom is browned in spots; turn over and brown the other side (about 1 1/2 minutes) [I ALWAYS check the internal meat temperatures to that I know things are cooked through and safe (165 degrees) – that would be my advice here as well. Go by internal temperature, not time.] Transfer to a platter or sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. If there is more than a tablespoon of fat in the pan, pour of some (not all).
- Turn the burner down to medium-high. Add mushrooms to the pan. Let them sear for about 30 seconds to a minute without moving them, then stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. When mushrooms have softened slightly and begun to sweat, add wine, thyme or parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to stir until wine has evaporated (this took under a minute for me). Spoon over the chicken and serve.
Tasting Notes for Santos 2016 Santorini Assyrtiko (from the Winemaker)
A pure expression of the indigenous Assyrtiko grapes grown in the unique basket-shaped vines aka kouloures at the volcanic terroir of Santorini. This wine is a classic benchmark of the variety and its homeland. A vibrant aromatic cocktail of sea-breeze freshness and citrus fruits with honeyed undertones. Bone-dry, brightly acidic with a textural minteral smokiness and food-begging finish.
Alcoholic content: 13.5%