My family and I moved from Baltimore, Maryland to Cleveland, Ohio a little over 7 years ago. Seems totally random but my parents grew up and got married here, and they had been wanting to move back for years. So when I graduated high school we finally relocated. The Cleveland area has always been my second home, I have always been fond of my close-knit, Italian extended-family here.
But I had no idea Ohio was wine country! Who knew a somewhat blah, slightly square-ish midwestern state was home to so many vineyards?
Now that I’ve reached, and subsequently passed, the legal drinking age, I’ve grown accustomed to wine-drinking (again, thanks to, in large part, my extremely Italian family and the fact that my extremely Italian uncle is in the wine business). In fact that’s pretty much all I drink. Three glasses of (white) wine- feel nothing. Two shots of tequila, however, and I’m on the floor.
One of my favorite places to go is Gervasi Vineyard, about an hour south of Cleveland in Canton. Yes, there are other things in Canton, Ohio besides the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which I’ve yet to visit… Anyway, Gervasi is a relatively young vineyard and still imports many of its wines from Italy, but the atmosphere and the food is absolutely amazing. If you for whatever reason find yourself in Northeastern Ohio, I highly recommend you pay Gervasi Vineyard a visit.
I love the idea of cooking with wine, although my repertoire usually consists of me just adding a splash of cabernet to my homemade pasta sauce (which, by the way, is amazing, not gonna lie. I’ll post that recipe another time). This time I wanted to try cooking with a white wine, and the most obvious, if not boring, protein to go with white wine is chicken, so I started thinking of some flavor profiles to google. White wine. Lemon. Garlic. I came across a recipe for a white wine marinade for chicken breast.
On my last trip to Gervasi I ended up coming home with a bottle of their Ciao Bella chardonnay, so after skimming this recipe I thought *SCORE!*- the buttery, creamy notes of this wine would go perfect with the garlic and herbs highlighted in this recipe. Not sure if that’s the wine choice the original author intended on being used, but why not?
I tweaked the recipe a little bit- I wanted the chardonnay to have much more of a presence so I cut back on the olive old and lemon just to really let the wine shine through. A wise decision on my part, I must say!
Chicken with White Wine, Lemon, and Herbs
adapted from this recipe
2 chicken breasts, or 4 chicken breast halves
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay, but a pinot grigio would work nicely too)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped (or coarsely minced??)
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp butter
parsley, fresh or dried, for garnish
In a small bowl whisk together wine, lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Season marinade with salt and pepper to taste.
Place your chicken breasts in a large freezer bag. Carefully pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight, depending on how much flavor is desired. I let mine sit in the fridge overnight, and I flipped the bag in the morning before I went to work as the herbs had settled.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a nonstick pan (or if you’re cheap like me, a 20-year-old non-nonstick pan) over medium heat. Remove your chicken from the bag and reserve about a half cup of the marinade. Add your your chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes per side.
Remove from heat and pour your reserved marinade over the chicken. Finish off in the oven, occasionally spooning the cooking liquid over the chicken, for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.