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July 2, 2014

What’s Cooking: Grilled Chicken Chardonnay & Vegetables with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Just in time for the 4th of July and summer barbecue season, we’re sharing two easy-to-follow recipes developed by our Head Corporate Chef Michael Northern and his team, along with a few bonus expert grilling tips—a helpful guide to achieving the best possible results.

Blog Editor Jeff Powell makes a delicious, simple-to-prepare marinated chicken and grilled vegetable side dish with a complementary and complex vinaigrette. Proving, with his photographic evidence, that you don’t have to be a professional chef to turn beautiful, fresh ingredients into irresistible food perfect for summer entertaining—it’s What’s Cooking.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

I recently bought a new charcoal grill, and I was looking forward to putting it to the test this summer as our head corporate chef and I were deciding which recipes to feature next. We settled on two that are perfect for sunny-weather grilling and entertaining around the BBQ. So simple, but they taste and look amazing. The chicken breasts can be marinated up to a day in advance, and the Chardonnay, lemon and herb marinade imparts a surprising amount of flavor while also acting as a kind of brine to keep the chicken moist. The bright assortment of grilled vegetables is topped with a vinaigrette so tasty that one of my dinner guests turned to me and said, “Jeff, you need to tell Nordstrom to bottle this up and start selling it immediately. I want to buy it!”

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Before starting to cook, I sat down with one of our expert chefs, Dan Wood, to soak up any words of wisdom on grilling he had. He was full of so much great information that it’s definitely worth sharing some of his basics here: 5 Tips to Mastering Your Grill.

Dan turned me on to grilling with hardwood lump charcoal (well worth finding) for more intense temperatures as well as the importance of allowing your grill to fully preheat, which ensures the grates are hot and ready to sear. (Hello, better grill marks.) Speaking of marks, I also found that patting the chicken lightly with paper towels just before grilling reduced the amount of moisture on the chicken and seemed to help with those little caramelized diamonds.

Grilled Chicken Chardonnay
from the Nordstrom Friends and Family Cookbook
(serves 8)

“Marinades penetrate deeply to improve the flavor and succulence of foods, especially chicken breasts. This simple combination of olive oil, Chardonnay, lemon juice, rosemary and oregano imparts crisp, clean flavors to the meat that are enhanced by the smoky flavors from grilling.” —Nordstrom Corporate Chef Michael Northern

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Chicken Chardonnay Marinade
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Chardonnay
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing

Place the chicken in a 1-gallon lock-top plastic bag or in a shallow baking dish. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, wine, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Pour the marinade over the chicken, coating all sides well. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and seal it, or cover the dish. Refrigerate and marinate the chicken a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 24 hours. Turn the bag or the chicken breasts once to distribute the flavors evenly. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill (see tip #3) or preheat a gas grill on medium.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain the chicken of excess marinade. Brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the chicken directly over the fire. Cover the grill and cook on one side for about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken about 90 degrees to create attractive cross-hatching grill marks and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Flip the chicken breasts over and continue grilling, covered, until they’re tender and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife, about 4 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Italian Grilled Vegetables with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
from the Nordstrom Friends and Family Cookbook
(serves 8)

“Grilled vegetables, whether served as a starter to a summer dinner on the deck or arranged on a buffet for an outdoor party, make a splashy, colorful presentation. This dish is perfect for entertaining because the vegetables taste great either warm or at room temperature. My hunch is that once you have tasted the Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, it will become a pantry staple. Drizzled over the grilled vegetables, this dressing completes the dish with a sweet yet tangy finish.”

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) dry-packed, sun-dried tomatoes
Boiling water
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

To make the Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and soak them in boiling water until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the tomatoes. In a blender or in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the softened tomatoes, vinegar and olive oil and process until the tomatoes are puréed and the mixture is well blended. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the basil and pulse for a few seconds. Set aside.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Italian Grilled Vegetables
1 pound jumbo asparagus
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
3 portobello mushrooms, stems and black gills removed, then halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe above)

Snap the woody bottoms off of the asparagus spears; trim any ragged edges and make the spears uniform in length. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the bottom half of each spear, removing only the thin, fibrous outer layer.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Lay the asparagus and all the remaining vegetables in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Brush the vegetables on both sides with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the vegetables in a single layer directly over the hot fire. Grill the vegetables on one side just until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill until tender but still firm, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Remove the vegetables from the grill and arrange them attractively on a large serving platter. Stir the Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette and drizzle it over the grilled vegetables. Serve immediately.

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Download a printable PDF of this Grilled Chicken with Vegetables recipe, and find more tempting dishes in our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook. Have a favorite recipe from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

Charcoal Grilling: 5 Tips to Mastering Your Grill from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Find more great recipes for your grill, along with more expert tips for grilling with charcoal from Culinary Logistics Manager and Chef Dan Wood.

[Photos & commentary by Jeff Powell]

Chardonnay Grilled Chicken and Vegetables recipe from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Comments

Betty August 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

This dish looks delicious, can’t wait to try it, probably tonight.

I didn’t even know Nordstrom had recipes like this on their web site. I will be coming back here often.

Thank you,
Betty

Betty August 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

I would love the recipe for your tomato basil soup. I order that almost every time I eat lunch at Nordstroms.

Thank you

Jeff Powell, Blogs Editor August 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Thank you, Betty! I hope you did try it. So glad to hear you’ll be coming back. We’ll have another recipe very soon!

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