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Dinner Date

06/30/2010 12:44PM ● Published by Style

Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books

Chicken Napoleon with Cabernet Jus

A Journey of Taste by Mii amo Spa

(Chronicle Books, 2008, $35)

  • 1/2 cup Cabernet Jus (recipe follows), warm
  • 18 ounces chicken tenders (about 12 tenders)
  • 12 slices tasso ham, about 1/4 ounce each
  • 8 thin slices Gruyere cheese, about 1/2 ounce each, cut in half
  • 4 large spears asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, fresh or bottled, cut into 8 long strips
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat a stovetop grill pan or cast-iron skillet until hot. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place 1 chicken tender between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the bottom of a heavy pot to an even thickness of 1/8-3/8 inches. Repeat with the remaining tenders, making all approximately the same size and shape. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the chicken tenders, turning once, 2-3 minutes total.

On the same grill, working in batches if necessary, cook the tasso slices, turning once, until just heated through, about 1 minute. Top each chicken tender with a slice of tasso and a slice of cheese, letting it soften and melt slightly. Stack 3 tenders on each plate to form a napoleon. Keep warm.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes, depending upon thickness. When just cool enough to handle, wrap 2 bell pepper strips around each spear to resemble a flower. Place 1 on each plate, resting it against the Chicken Napoleon. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Cabernet Jus over each plate and serve at once.

Cabernet Jus

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rhyme
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup veal or chicken stock
  • 1 cup (additional) chicken stock
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and the mushroom liquid has exuded and then evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the wine and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the veal stock and chicken stock and continue cooking over high heat until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes. Strain the jus through a sieve and discard the solids. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Rosso 2008

Aside from Chianti, Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Aramone are all very well known Italian wines with one thing in common: the grape variety Corvina. Mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, Corvina is blended to make all three wines…yet is rarely seen as a wine by itself. Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Rosso 2008 is just that. A wine made from 100-percent Corvina. This wine is without a doubt one that would appeal to all red wine drinkers. It is the perfect warm weather red, as well as for the entire year round. It can even be chilled. The wine shows fruit of the forest berries, a hint of cranberry, and a wonderful rich nuance of Italy’s famous dry dried grape wine Amarone. It is perfectly balanced, with a slight pucker of acidity in the finish. It is truly delightful and perfect to pour anytime and with anything that calls for a red wine. As you may have guessed, it’s my new favorite! It’s hard to believe that this is a bargain priced wine.

Rick Mindermann
Rick is Store Director of Corti Brothers in Sacramento, personal assistant to Darrell Corti,  and “The Good Taste Guy” for oodleboxtv.com.

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