Friday, September 15, 2006

~ September Cooking With Washington Wines ~

You might think that a white wine would be the best pairing for a chicken dish, but not always. This particular chicken recipe is rich, spicy, and fruity. It can handle a Merlot or a blend of Merlot from the Walla Walla Valley. In fact, I would suggest North Star's Stella Maris - Columbia Valley Red Wine 2003. This wine typifies the Walla Walla appellation, with it's full bodied and concentrated flavors. A unique blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Malbec, and 4% Syrah.

Turn this easy Moroccan recipe into a theme night or dinner party. Have a CD of Moroccan music on the charger to create an exotic mood with candle light, low tables for eating and lots of pillows for sitting and lounging. Serve light appetizers of spiced nuts, marinated olives, crudite, and interesting tapenades or savory vegetable jams. Be the perfect host by providing perfumed rose water and hot towels for your guests to wash their hands with before dining - - well, you are going to be eating with your fingers, aren't you?


2 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 medium carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 cup (about 6 ounces) pitted dried plums
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sliced green onions
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Couscous (follow directions on package)
Lemon wedges
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Place chicken in skillet; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until browned, turning once. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in broth, carrots, dried plums, cumin and cinnamon. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove cover; cook and stir 10 minutes or until chicken centers are no longer pink, carrots are tender and sauce is slightly reduced. Stir in green onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over hot couscous with lemon wedges. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Will serve four people. Enjoy!

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