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A Flock of Chicken-and-Herb Recipes : 3 Different Dishes From the Same 3 Basic Ingredients

October 20, 1988|BETSY BALSLEY | Times Food Editor

The following recipes from Stephen Yundt, head chef of the Sundial Grill and Wine Bar in Hopland, are good examples of how imaginatively he uses the home-grown products from Fetzer Valley Oaks Ranch gardens. Depending on the wine chosen as accompaniment (and as an ingredient), Yundt developed three totally different dishes using the same basic three ingredients: chicken breasts and two herbs--marjoram and rosemary.

One was a simple French-style chicken saute in a reduced cream sauce made with a Chenin Blanc wine. Another was an herb vinaigrette-marinated chicken tenderloin made with Fetzer's Fume. His third chicken dish, in which he used a Special Reserve Pinot Noir, featured a rich, long-cooking tomato herb sauce meant to be served with a grilled chicken breast.

In addition to these three recipes, Yundt also shared his recipe for Lemon Basil Vinaigrette, a delicious citrus-flavored dressing that gets its tart taste from the lemon-flavored herb leaf rather than the fruit. Try this one with tossed salads or other foods such as seafood that benefit from a lemony flavor boost.

It should be noted that lemon basil is not readily available in markets, so unless you have a patch in your own herb garden, it may be necessary to search out a nursery in your area that has it. Lemon basil seeds are available by mail from Taylor's Herb Garden, 1535 Lone Oak Road, Vista, Calif. 92084; (619) 727-3485.

FRENCH CHICKEN BREASTS IN FRESH HERB CREAM

6 boned chicken breast halves

Flour

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup olive oil, about

1/2 cup minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Fetzer Vineyards Chenin Blanc

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped

Dust chicken breasts with flour and season to taste with salt and pepper. Brown in hot olive oil in large skillet. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Saute shallots and garlic 3 to 4 minutes in same skillet, adding more olive oil if needed. Add wine, cream3 tablespoons rosemary and 3 tablespoons marjoram leaves. Stir to blend, then reduce mixture by about 1/4 over high heat.

Return chicken breasts to skillet, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until chicken is done and sauce is reduced to desired thickness.

To serve, arrange chicken on platter, spoon sauce over and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 tablespoon marjoram. Makes 6 servings.

GRILLED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS IN HERB VINAIGRETTE

24 chicken breast tenderloins or 6 boned chicken breast halves

Herb Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped

Salt, pepper

Cover chicken pieces with enough Herb Vinaigrette to marinate well in sealable plastic bag or flat glass dish. (Any remaining vinaigrette may be used as dressing for tossed green salad or other use.) Seal bag or cover dish and let mixture stand, turning chicken occasionally, 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from marinade and roll in mixture of rosemary and marjoram. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill quickly, just until done, turning once, on well-oiled rack over hot coals. Do not overcook if using tenderloins. Makes 6 servings.

Herb Vinaigrette

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Fume

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup olive oil

1 cup corn oil

Salt, pepper

Blend mustard, wine, garlic, vinegar and Worcestershire in blender or deep bowl of electric mixer. With motor running, add olive and corn oils slowly until mixture is well-mixed and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 3 cups.

GRILLED BREAST OF CHICKEN IN FRESH TOMATO-HERB SAUCE

1/4 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

3 very ripe large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons sliced black olives

1/4 cup Fetzer Vineyards Special Reserve Pinot Noir

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine

1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped

Salt, pepper

5 to 6 boned chicken breast halves

Saute onion and 1 clove minced garlic in olive oil just until onion is transparent. Do not allow to brown.

Add tomatoes, olives, wine, parsley, 2 tablespoons rosemary and 2 tablespoons marjoram and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture, covered, 4 hours. If sauce gets too thick during cooking period, add water as needed. (Sauce should be slightly soupy, but not thin.) Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, roll chicken breasts in mixture of salt and pepper to taste, remaining 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tablespoons rosemary and 2 tablespoons marjoram. Grill on well-oiled rack over hot coals just until done, turning once.

Meanwhile, reheat tomato sauce in skillet large enough to hold both chicken and sauce. When chicken breasts are through cooking on grill, add to tomato sauce and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Serve at once, spooning sauce over chicken. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

LEMON BASIL VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup fresh lemon basil leaves, finely chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Fume

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup tarragon-flavored white wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

1 cup corn oil

Salt, pepper

Combine lemon basil, mustard, wine, garlic, Worcestershire and vinegar in blender and blend well. With motor running, add olive and corn oils slowly until mixture is well-mixed and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 3 cups.

Note: Use as dressing for tossed salad or as marinade for fish or chicken.

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