Freshen up your repertoire of chicken recipes with four new meals. Each pairs well with wine, is easy to prepare, and is light and bright for spring.
These recipes also demonstrate why wine and chicken are so often matched together: Chicken's mild taste goes as well with a bold cabernet sauvignon as it does with a delicate pinot grigio.
In fact, the wine you choose depends less on the chicken and more on the other ingredients in the chicken dish. Harmony is everything: A robustly flavored entrée like Honey-Rosemary Chicken and Bulgur with Parmesan Kale Salad needs an equally robust wine. But a lighter chicken dinner—Chicken and Spring Greens Skillet, for example—calls for a bright white wine. To increase your success with matching wine and food, analyze the flavors in the dish.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs
Recipe: Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs
Pairing: Riesling or a sweet red blend
This classic Asian-inspired chicken recipe combines tomato, soy, and garlic, making it a good match for a slightly sweet riesling. These flavors also work well with sweet red blends, which are growing in popularity.
Chicken and Spring Greens Skillet
Recipe: Chicken and Spring Greens Skillet
Pairing: Chardonnay or pinot noir
Salads are often difficult to pair with wines because the vinegary dressing can make wines taste peculiar. That's not so with this dressing. The fresh herbs—basil and mint—balance the balsamic-orange juice base, which means this salad works well with a range of wines, from chardonnay to lighter reds such as pinot noir.
Feta Stuffed Braised Chicken with Fennel and Olives
Recipe: Feta Stuffed Braised Chicken with Fennel and Olives
Pairing: Chenin blanc, viognier, or chardonnay
Traditional Mediterranean flavors—orange zest, feta, and olives—set the stage for a crisp white wine, such as chenin blanc, viognier, or an unoaked chardonnay.
Honey-Rosemary Chicken and Bulgur with Parmesan Kale Salad
Recipe: Honey-Rosemary Chicken and Bulgur with Parmesan Kale Salad
Pairing: Merlot or cabernet sauvignon
This chicken recipe has several characteristics that give it an intense heartiness: a half-hour soak in a citrus brine that draws orange flavor completely through the meat; a baste with a honey-rosemary glaze; and a companion of bulgur with portobellos and onions. Serve this dish with an equally intense plum-like merlot or a juicy cabernet sauvignon.
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