The boring chicken breasts get a complete makeover in this brilliant dish. The Mediterranean spices work perfectly with grilled muscato grapes, making it a marriage made in food heaven. Try it to believe it…and WOW guests.
I cant believe I haven’t done this before. Mixed Mediterranean spices and grapes i mean!! Just like sometimes the obvious answer lies right in front of us, but we are unable to see it, so was this dish.
It all started on a beautiful morning..the rains had finally visited my tiny little town and my garden was saying thanks by blooming with joy. The light nip in the air made me long for something hot and spicy ,but the humidity reminded me to keep it cool.
As I went to the fridge , my eyes fell on the bowl of grapes lying there. The sight of the beautiful red orbs beckoned me and before I knew it, I had eaten half a dozen of these grapes. Bought from the local gourmet store, the muscato grapes are simply the most fabulous ever. Beautiful to look at but just as sweet to eat, these seedless grapes cost quite a bit, but as you can see from the dish, they make it all worth it. It was right then and there that I decided to do something with these grapes…something savory since thats my natural instinct..
I remember reading about grapes served with chicken in one of the novels..cant even remember which one (duh) ,but I do remember having been intrigued by the idea. And just like that, before I knew it the dish had formed in my food crazed mind and my heart was skipping with joy!!
The chicken breasts were given a thorough spice rub all the way from the Mediterranean region. You all know of my love for za’atar if you ever read this http://lapetitchef.in/2015/04/zaatar-rubbed-savory-chicken-galette.html
But for this chicken, I decided to bring my A game. So out came some butter, rosemary and sumac!! Remember how everytime you ate something that tasted amazing, and you asked what was in it, the answer was always Butter.
Butter – you can never have enough of it.
And chicken marinated with a simple and flavorful Mediterranean spice rub with butter is about all you need to turn the insipid boring chicken dinners into fabulous flavorsome glamorous affairs. Trust me on that.
The chicken is grilled to perfection after a quick marination ..the grapes thrown in with the chicken in the same skillet release their sweet juices as it gets cooked and the chicken gets unbelievably moist and flavorsome. And the rosemary, did I tell you about rosemary?? Its made for meat..with chicken as the next best. The aroma in the kitchen, and the sizzle of the chicken hitting the hot skillet was like a perfect melody..It will ensnare your senses and if you are anything like me, the 20 minutes of cooking time will suddenly feel like forever. Sprinkle some more za’atar on top and top with fresh herbs for a brilliant chicken dish that will have people declare you as a gourmet chef!
I served this to DaddyLongLegs P with some pasta in bechamel sauce and a watermelon and mint salad…Both on my blog, go check!!
It made P moan!!! And you all know how much I love to have him moaning 😉
On that note, what are your plans for Father’s day??
We are trying our best to create something for P..baby D is hard at work..while mommy (thats me ;)) will be serving him his favorite meal 🙂
What super fun DIY projects are!! Do share your Father’s day plans with us here..We would love to see and share the joy!
Coming to the thoughts of fatherhood, how can I NOT mention my dad?? That would be blasphemous.
“To be a father is to have your heart walk outside your body, forever”.
I feel that no other statement could justify the kind of dad he is better. If there is anyone who has loved us unconditionally, wholeheartedly supported every dream or wish of ours, however silly or crazy (like my blogging adventure) , given us everything a child should have, its him. I am not talking about material stuff, but then I never do,do i?
Every child needs a father he can depend on, he can trust and look upto, and in this matter there is no one who could have done better.
To say that he is the first love of my life is silly. Of course I love my father. But its much more than love. I feel PROUD to be his daughter..to have taken after him, to be his reflection in temperament if not in looks.
My father is the most brilliant man I know, his dedication to anything he takes up is exemplary and he is the blue eyed boy of the intellectual community, and in fact can turn most men green with his long list of accomplishments, his uber charming personality, his quick wit and super infectious smile. But what makes him so special is his passionate, strong nature…the fact that his need to succeed has never made him lose his dignity. We don’t go gaga over anything and everything, we are proud people who dislike taking help unless absolutely have to, you wont see us follow the crowd or ever be a kiss ass, we are emotional fools who cry bucket loads at movies, or if a near one is sick. We gush over people with strength and valor as opposed to people who are just sweet..we connect more with people who are flawed coz we feel we are flawed ourselves, but inspite of our thousand and one faults, we have one huge redeeming thing about us – That is the capability to LOVE with all our heart…and more!
I am my daddy’s little girl.. always have been and always will be. And it makes me so happy to see P be the same kind of father that my dad was to me.. Always loving, strict when needed but always the loudest to clap or cheer us, my unflinching supporter, my rock – “Bapa I love you beyond words..Thank you for being you. I wouldn’t change a single thing about you”.
- For the chicken marination:
- Chicken breasts ,pounded, cleaned and dried 2 -3 (500gms)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 clove garlic, minced
- Za'atar spice - 3 tablespoon
- Sumac powder - 1 and a half tablespoon
- Rosemary - (dried) - 2 teaspoon
- finely chopped fresh rosemary 1 ½ tablespoons
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- Red chillie flakes 2 teaspoons
- Zest from one medium lemon + juice of half lemon
- For the grapes:
- 250gms Muscato grapes (or any seedless red grape)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- Extra :
- Lemon cut in half
- Fresh rosemary sprig 2
- Extra za'atar for sprinkling (1/2 teaspoon)
- Start by pounding and cleaning the chicken, Dry it off with tissues completely.
- Make the marinade by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring well to incorporate; set aside.
- Rinse the grapes, dry them and then place in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the grapes. Sprinkle with the salt and the chopped mint; toss to coat and set aside.
- Rub the marinade all over the chicken breasts, turning it over and massaging the chicken well with the compound butter. Leave it aside for 20- 30 minutes. When time to grill, sprinkle the lemon juice, remaining half teaspoon of za'atar on the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C. Make sure you grease the skillet a bit with olive oil before heating it up.
- Once hot,carefully pull the hot skillet out of the oven. Lay the chicken in the center (chicken will sizzle),add the lemon slices and rosemary sprigs and surround the chicken with the grapes, making sure to scrape out the olive oil and mint from the bowl.
- Return the skillet to the oven and grill for 15 minutes or until the juices run clear when poked. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10 -15 minutes before serving.
- Serve the chicken with the grapes and some of the pan juices on the side.