By Al Edenloff
If you like white wine, this story is for you. If you’re into reds and scoff at white varietals for not being complex or interesting enough, this story is also for you.
With summer kicking into high gear, now is the perfect time to uncork (or unscrew) a slightly chilled bottle of white wine to pair with your favorite grilled recipes.
Try Zesty Grilled Chicken Kabobs with a good chardonnay. Like a fine red wine with steak, this pairing complements both the wine and the food, taking each of them to a new level of deliciousness.
Chunks of chicken breast are marinated in a zippy, citrusy sauce of Greek yogurt, onion, garlic, saffron and plenty of lemon juice. Try not to skimp on the marinade time, so the chicken can absorb all those lemony flavors.
Also, mix the chicken around in the sauce a few times to get the full, earthy effect from the saffron. (Yes, saffron is on the spendy side but only a small amount is needed per recipe so it can be used in several other dishes as well.)
Remember to chill the chard. You want it to be about 50 degrees. If it’s colder than that, the aromas and flavors will be masked. Any warmer, and you risk losing acidity and structure.
Once the kabobs are done grilling, refill your guests’ chardonnay glasses and give a toast to summer.
Swirl the chard, notice its color, which can range from a pale yellow to a rich gold. Take in the aromas of fruit, butter, and in some instances, oak. Then take a sip. Depending on ripeness, you could taste lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, peaches or a blend. There may also be subtle notes of vanilla, butter and caramelized sugar. Who says white wines aren’t complex?
Now take a bite of the kabob and have another sip. The tartness of the kabobs should balance perfectly with the lush, creamy, citrus notes of the chardonnay. Hello, summer!
1 1/2 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts
32 oz. plain, non-fat yogurt
Juice of 2 lemons
1 yellow onion
A pinch or two of saffron
1 clove of garlic
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and put in a bowl. Grate onion over the chicken.
Add pulp and juice from lemons, yogurt, saffron and garlic. Mix well.
Marinade for 12 hours, stirring occasionally.
Put chicken cubes on skewers and place over a medium hot charcoal or gas grill.
Grill on each side for about seven minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink (160 degrees). Don’t overcook.
Al Edenloff of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights.