Winter and spring are wonderful seasons to visit Napa Valley. While crews have been working in the vineyards to prune and prepare for the beginning of a new season, the businesses and various venues are less crowded, offering a more relaxed and accessible experience.
A safe private or join-in wine tour of select wineries that includes an enjoyable and informative narrative is a delightful way to see, learn, and taste the bounties of Napa Valley. Individuals and groups may customize their safe and private wine country tours of Napa Valley and Sonoma County with Platypus Wine Tours.
But if a trip to Napa Valley is not in your immediate plans, but hopefully soon, how about preparing and cooking up a special dinner paired nicely with a favorite wine from one of the best wineries in Napa? Here is an easy-to-prepare Dinner-for-Four recipe suggestion from Platypus Wine Tours of Napa Valley:
Spice-rubbed Chicken with Green Beans and Olive Pesto
TOTAL TIME: 20-30 minutes Serves 4
GATHER THESE INGREDIENTS
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless (Note: Skin on is ok; skin off for lower-fat)
- 10 oz fresh green beans
- 1 large shallot, sliced into rings
- 1 lemon, large, zest + juice, divided
- 1 tsp Thyme, fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp Parsley, fresh, minced
- 6-8 Castelvetrano olives, minced
- 4-6 Kalamata olives, minced
- 1 tbsp capers, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp parmesan, dry-aged, finely grated
- 1 tbsp Paprika, smoked
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil for cooking
PREPARE + COOK CHICKEN BREASTS
- Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add chicken to the skillet, skin side down if using, and leave undisturbed for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn chicken, reduce heat and cover loosely with lid (this will help keep your breast juicy while cooking evenly) approx. another 5-7 minutes. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove chicken breasts and plate; allowing them to rest for a couple of minutes.
- Add shallots and stir fry about 1 minute in chicken juices; add a little oil if necessary.
PREPARE + COOK GREEN BEANS
- Wash and trim the stem ends of the green beans leaving those cute little tips intact.
- Place green beans in a shallow, microwaveable bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and lemon zest. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Cover the shallow bowl with plastic wrap and poke a couple of small holes for steam to escape. Microwave for 1 minute and set aside while you cook the chicken. The green beans will continue to cook slowly.
- Once you remove your chicken breasts and allow them to rest, pop your green beans back into the microwave for 1 more minute.
- Check that the beans are fork-tender, plate along with your chicken breasts. Top with sautéed shallots and any remaining juices from the skillet.
PREPARE OLIVE PESTO
- While your chicken and beans cook, prepare your pesto.
- In a small bowl, mix minced olives, capers, garlic, herbs, and parmesan cheese. Add about 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsps of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste (watch adding salt as olives tend to be salty already).
- Top your rested chicken with about 1 tbsp of pesto.
Looking for a Great Wine Pairing?
Wine pairings are all about enhancing the flavors of any dish. The chemistry of some wines can dull or offset the authentic flavors of a recipe, while a perfect pairing will highlight those attributes.
Chicken dishes pair well with most of the white wine varietals. Safe bets are crisp Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. One white wine that pairs nicely with spices like paprika is Riesling.
Are you looking for an alternative to white wine? The olive pesto and citrus notes also go great with a Zinfandel or a beautiful Rosé. Have fun with pairing, and remember, it’s ok to break the rules a little.
Wine Country Tours with Platypus
Are you inspired to take a trip through the Napa Valley vineyards? Fewer visitors create the perfect opportunity to schedule a Napa wine tour.
For a more intimate experience, consider scheduling a private wine tour in Napa Valley or Sonoma with Platypus Wine Tours of Napa. Platypus offers safe group join-in wine tours as well as intimate private tours.