Sherry Chardonnay Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms

Sherry Chardonnay Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms
Makes 6 servings
Dried shiitake mushrooms add an extra boost of flavor that makes a beautiful pairing with a rich white wine like Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay (or even a light red). Says Patty Grantham at Charles Krug Winery: “This is a favorite of Peter Mondavi Jr., and me!”

1 cup (or more) dried shiitake mushroom pieces
1 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 smashed garlic cloves
1 Tbsp minced gingerroot, or 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger (optional, but adds a nice zip)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 whole chicken, or chicken legs and thighs

Place dried shiitakes in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of very hot water; let stand until softened, stirring occasionally.  Lift out the mushrooms and set aside. Refrigerate the mushroom soaking liquid for the sauce.

Combine the remaining ingredients and the soaked mushrooms and pour over the chicken, turning to coat all sides.  Marinate 6-8 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Reserving the chicken marinade to use for basting, lift out the chicken and mushrooms and drain well.  Place the chicken in a baking dish and roast, 1 hour for a whole chicken, 40 minutes for cut-up pieces.  Brush chicken with 1/3 of the marinade every 15 minutes, adding the mushrooms to the pan after the second basting.

When chicken is done, add the reserved shiitake soaking liquid to the pan and stir to loosen browned bits and serve the simple sauce alongside the chicken.

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Lemon Chicken with Capers

Lemon Chicken with Capers
Makes 4 servings
This dish comes together in about 10 minutes, so have all your ingredients ready. Peter Mondavi Jr. notes, “The citrusy notes in our Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay match the lemony notes in the sauce.”  A touch of saltiness from the capers keeps everything in balance.

4 chicken breasts (if breasts are thicker than 1/2” thick at the thickest part, cut them in half horizontally with your knife parallel to your cutting board into two thinner “cutlets” so they cook more evenly)
1/4 cup flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp capers, drained
4 Tbsp cold butter, sliced into 4 pieces
Fresh lemon slices
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Season the chicken breasts generously on both sides with salt and pepper, and allow to rest while preparing the other ingredients.

When everything is ready, dust the chicken breasts with flour, shaking off the excess. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Add breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, flip the breasts over, cover pan and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a warm plate and cover partially with the pan lid.  Pour off most of the fat and return the pan to the heat.

Add the wine and minced garlic. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly gone, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Remove from heat and quickly whisk in butter, whisking constantly until melted.  Add lemon slices, pour sauce over chicken and serve.

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Tangy Thai Grilled Shrimp

Tangy Thai Grilled Shrimp
Makes 8 appetizer portions

Make sure you have plenty of these because they’re addictive! Try them with Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. “The lime in the recipe works nicely with the citrus fruitiness in the wines, and the salty and sweet flavors balance the spice, allowing it to work with the wine,” says Peter Mondavi Jr.

2 pounds large raw shrimp in shells (deveined shrimp called “easy peel” work well for this dish)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2” piece of gingerroot, grated
4 serrano or jalapeño chiles, including seeds if you like it hot, seeds scraped out with the side of a spoon if you don’t
6 green onions, with tops
1/2 cup cilantro, lightly packed
grated zest from one lime, green part only
juice from the zested lime
1/4 cup Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
1/3 cup honey

Peel the shrimp if desired, although shrimp marinated then cooked in the shell are more succulent and flavorful.

For the marinade, finely chop the first six ingredients, or pulse them together in a food processor until minced.  Stir in the remaining five ingredients.  (Marinade can be prepared a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)

Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade for dipping. 45 minutes-1 hour before grilling, coat the shrimp with the remaining marinade, loosening shells a bit to allow marinade underneath. Stir gently after 30 minutes.

Heat grill. Lift shrimp from the marinade (discard the used marinade) and drain.  Grill shrimp on both sides over high heat until they are evenly pink on the outside, about 2 minutes per side.   Spoon the reserved marinade over the shrimp.

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Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay…So Crisp and Refreshing!


White wines, so crisp, tart and refreshing, how can one simply ignore you…not me, not my friend Lori Miller, not millions of wine lovers.   And these wines, from Lori’s discriminating taste buds, “I like it white, it just matches perfectly with steak, with seafoods, with pasta, oh dear, with just about anything.”  Charles Krug wines are bursting with subtle aromas and flavors, an explosion of tropical fruits and citrus, not heavy, I’d say full yet silky smooth.  I love it.  Sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, perfect table companion indeed.  They definitely gonna be present at my holiday feasts, I already told my friends I insist on Charles Krug white wines only.  That includes my friend Lori, she’s bringing her mom’s lasagna and her “moist through and through” roast chicken.   Thanks Charles Krug and Christine Piccin for introducing me to this easy-drinking, palate-pleasing and so super-affordable wines.

Here’s the press release shared to me….

How to Weather the Changing Seasons with White Wine with Peter Mondavi Jr. of Napa Valley’s Charles Krug Winery

While the old saying goes, “Never wear white after Labor Day,” there’s no such rule when it comes to serving white wine.  And Peter Mondavi Jr. of Charles Krug Winery will be the first to tell you that his Charles Krug Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are more than warm weather sippers.  “They can easily hold their own alongside the foods we enjoy with the arrival of cooler weather,” he says.

Peter has “cred”: he is a wine industry insider, since birth, in fact–his grandparents purchased Charles Krug in 1943 and Pete grew up washing glasses and scrubbing tanks.  The winery, Napa Valley’s oldest, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and is considered the birthplace of the Napa wine industry.

While picking exactly the right wine may seem daunting to some, Peter is completely realistic.  “Not everyone has the palate of a wine critic and, most of the time, it really doesn’t matter if a wine tastes more like Meyer lemon or Eureka lemon, or whether it might go best with King salmon or Coho. Too often, we tend to over-think this kind of thing,” he says. “Never feel you can’t drink what you like.”

To find out where to start, he suggests talking with a wine-knowledgeable friend or wine salesperson, then open a couple of different bottles to see what tastes best with your dish. Often there is no one “perfect” match, and several different wines will work just fine.

Sidebar Insider tips:
What’s the best wine to bring to a potluck, where you don’t know what food will be served? Peter Mondavi Jr. says, “Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc–it’s easy to sip as an aperitif before dinner, but it’s not a pushover wine.  It has enough acidity to flatter flavors and enough texture to stand up to many different kinds of foods. Try it!”

Spicy foods are tough on wines, in general, so it’s nice to have trick in your back pocket.  For Peter Mondavi Jr. the trick to taming spice is to pour a fruit-forward white wine, such as pairing Tangy Thai Grilled Shrimp (recipe below) with Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc.

Bright, fresh ingredients like thyme and lemon are rich in essential oils that are perfect with crisp white wines, including Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.   Try a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs and some grated lemon zest over chicken or fish, or a squeeze of lemon and a generous sprinkling of sea salt on a steak.  “Surprisingly,” says Peter Mondavi Jr., “that trick will coax even something as meaty as steak into pairing nicely with white wine.” For more info, visit website: