Saffron Grilled Chicken with English Pea Pappardelle
Pairs Well With
1½ to 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 handful of fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme and rosemary) as well as an additional 1/8 cup of tarragon leaves
Zest of two Meyer lemons
1 cup olive oil
1 packet of saffron powder (if not available, 12 saffron threads soaked in small amount of white wine for 30 minutes works as well; albeit normally more expensive)
3-4 slightly crushed garlic cloves
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
½ cup dry vermouth
Pea purée (see recipe below)
16 ounces pappardelle (dried or fresh)
2 cups Romano cheese
Prepare chicken marinade: Combine handful of fresh herbs, lemon zest, olive oil, saffron, salt, pepper, vermouth and garlic cloves in a large nonreactive container. Place chicken in marinade and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, turning once or twice.
Prepare pea purée.
Set grill for high heat. Grill chicken skin side down over direct heat for 6-8 minutes turning once or twice. Then place chicken over indirect heat for 12 minutes longer, turning a couple of times.
Prepare pasta as directed. Place cooked pasta directly into simmering pea puree. Add morels. Allow mixture to coat pasta and remove to large platter. Grate Romano cheese over top.
Either serve family style by placing grilled chicken over pasta on large platter or serve individually in pasta bowls with 2 thighs on top of pasta. For a bit of extra flair, you can garnish with fresh herbs as well.
English Pea Purée
2½ cups freshly shelled English peas
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 finely diced shallots
¼ cut slightly bruised tarragon leaves
½ cup vermouth
1 to 1½ cups cream
¼ cup morel mushrooms (fresh if available; if not, rehydrated dried)
1 tablespoon mascarpone (optional)
Parboil peas for 5 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse. Sauté shallots in butter and olive oil until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tarragon. Sauté a minute or two. Add vermouth. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup cream. Simmer 2 to 4 minutes. Add peas and mix to coat all peas. Place mixture into a food processor. Add mascarpone. Pulse (and if necessary add additional cream) until mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Put mixture back into sauté pan on simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.
San Francisco Bay Area ex-pat and current El Paso, Texas, resident Erik Hanshew offered up a recipe that pairs beautifully with this Pinot. His Saffron Grilled Chicken with English Pea Pappardelle includes plenty of fresh herbs as well as morel mushrooms, which both help to bring out the core personality of this wine.