Editor’s note: This post is this week’s Friday Fit recipe. The idea is to try “real food” recipes that can be prepared on the weekend. Of course, each recipe can also be prepared during the week (that’s when I’m trying it), but with the hectic schedules of most, a recipe might be easier to try on the weekend when work is generally less of a factor. If you enjoy this article, please consider subscribing to my feed. Thanks.
This week’s recipe is a relatively new one for us – Sautéed chicken in a late harvest Moscato sauce. We don’t buy sweet wines very often, but we had an open bottle from a recent visit with friends, so April decided to experiment. The preparation was simple, and the results were outstanding.
Late harvest dessert wines are also sometimes referred to as Icewine. Dessert wines tend to be sweeter (the obvious) and are often slightly thicker in consistency. I’ve read elsewhere the term, “viscous,” which is a good way to describe it, and is one of the keys to the success of this dish.
Dessert wines are kind of a breed of their own, and range widely in price. Our late harvest Moscato came from Trader Joe’s – not particularly expensive by any means, but very drinkable. For cooking purposes, I wouldn’t use “the good stuff” – meaning expensive imported sipping dessert wines. A lower priced American dessert wine is more than reasonable.
Friday Fit Recipe #8: Sautéed Chicken in a Late Harvest Moscato Sauce
1 pound (about 4 pieces) boneless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup late harvest Moscato wine
1/4 cup Marcona almonds
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the pan on medium high heat. While the pan is heating, add the butter and olive oil. When the butter just starts to brown, add the chicken thighs. Add a light pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes on each side. After the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, and then add the wine. Deglaze the pan by scraping up any of the flavor-filled bits left from the chicken, and cook until the sauce reduces to about half of its original volume. When the sauce has almost finished reducing, add the Marcona almonds and the rosemary. Toss for 1 minute or so, and then add the chicken back into the pan. Toss for 2 minutes, and serve immediately. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This dish goes great with roasted seasonal vegetables. In our case we used what we had in the fridge – some asparagus, brussel sprouts, zucchini, red onion, and bell pepper. We tossed the vegetables in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, added a little salt and pepper, and roasted them in the oven.
Although we haven’t tried these variations for this recipe, if you can’t get late harvest Moscato, I think its a safe bet that you could try late harvest Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, or Viognier, all of which are generally classed together for domestic late harvest sweet wines.
On the cut of chicken, I imagine that 2 chicken breasts would work as well, but you’ll probably want a little more butter and oil when you cook them.
One of the keys to this recipe is the Marcona almonds, which are generally harvested in Spain. They have a different flavor than standard almonds, and do not have the “skin” that standard almonds almost always do. They sell them at Trader Joe’s, but I’ve also found them recently at Costco.
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