● By Style
Cookbook and recipe photos courtesy of Chronicle Books; wine bottle photo courtesy of Mason Cellars.
Grilled Marinated Chicken Brochettes
Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora by Jeff Koehler
(Chronicle Books, 2012, $29.95)
Like Grilled Spicy Kefta Brochettes, these are a favorite throughout Morocco, referred to as snacks in street stalls and in simple cafes. They’re inexpensive, flavorful and quick to prepare. The chicken takes on a lovely golden hue from the cumin and sweet paprika. Calculate about four brochettes per person as part of a meal, accompanied by a few salads and plenty of bread.
- 2 heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lb.) cut into 3/4-to 1-inch cubes
In a large mixing bowl, add the cilantro, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Generously season with salt and pepper. Moisten with the oil and blend well. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover, refrigerate and marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Prepare skewers with 6-8 cubes of chicken on each. The pieces should be just touching, not squashed tightly together.
If using a grill pan, skillet or griddle, heat over medium-high heat. If using a barbecue, prepare a fire and heat until the coals are glowing. If using a broiler, preheat the broiler.
Cook the brochettes, nudging them from time to time with the help of a spatula in order to cook evenly on all sides, until the meat is cooked through and firm to touch, 4-5 minutes. Serve hot. Makes about 16 brochettes; serves 4.
2011 MASON SAUVIGNON BLANC
Randy Mason has been producing wine for more than 30 years (the first Mason wine was produced in 1993) and is known in the industry as a pioneer for producing some of the best California Sauvignon Blancs on the market. It was Mason’s vision to produce a high-quality wine and make it available at a fair market price. The fruit for this year’s Sauvignon Blanc came solely from a vineyard called Blockhouse – located in Yountville – which in itself is special and unusual, since typically grapes for Sauvignon Blancs at this price point (approximately $16 bottle) come from various sources. The vineyard is located at the heart of the valley’s floor, which enjoys cool evenings and warm days, making for excellent grapes.
2011 Mason Sauvignon Blanc embodies a very elegant style with amazing flavors of grapefruit, melon and fresh-cut grass. Fermented in 100-percent stainless steel tanks, it has a very distinctive nose, and overall is a true Napa-style Sauvignon Blanc that’s heralded for its varietal trueness and perfect balance. I like to enjoy this wine with an appetizer before dinner; it even goes well with hummus!
— Richard Righton
Owner, Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom