It was a sticky, swelteringly hot and muggy day. In the morning I had set my sights on barbecuing some chicken and making a salad with the best lettuce ever. I was starting to feel Summer-y AND I was dying to try a new condiment. My friend Lori has cleverly figured out that I will do most anything for her if she keeps me supplied with culinary goodies from her trips to New York City. The last offering was White Truffle Honey.
Actually, we both agreed that it sounded a little weird, and possibly unpleasant tasting? We also knew that I was going to try it on or in something to hopefully prove our apprehensions were misguided.
The day turned unpleasantly steamy and the thoughts of standing at a grill made me feel a bout of sun-struck coming on. But, I still wanted that grilled-chicken-feeling, so, I changed the recipe to suit my stove-top and ended up with a fabulous Summer Evening Dinner! The truffle honey was used in the chicken marinade and it gave everything a pleasantly sweet muskiness.
I cooked the Vidalia onion pretty much whole as they looked really good. I could have devoured a plate of these for my meal and been quite content. The fresh salad gilded the lily. It was like having a party on my plate.
Our friend Tom joined us with a couple of great bottles of wine and the evening rolled along merrily while the weather changed to blustery and stormy. The wind rolled through the house, cooling us down and making the thoughts of lying in our beds after the long day something to look forward to.
Follow each of the steps in order and things should go smoothly. It really is not as much work as it looks. Plenty of down time in-between jobs to drink wine and chat (or both!)
Note: If you want to serve rice with this (I did) put it on now. 2 1/2 cups for stove top method and 3 rice cup measures for rice cooker method.
For the onion; you will need: 3 medium Vidalia/sweet onions, both ends cut off and sliced through the middle, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 cup chicken broth, 6 little sprigs of fresh rosemary, coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper.
1 – Prep the onions (note – when slicing the onion slice in the round; will stay together better during cooking and look prettier). On medium heat put pan on stove-top large enough to hold the onions in a single layer. Add oil to pan and brown the onions slightly on both side, being careful when turning.
2 – Add wine, broth rosemary and a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cover, simmering gently for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in pan until ready to serve.
For Chicken; you will need: 6 Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped, juice of 1 lime, 1 tbs honey (I used a white truffle honey), 1/2 cup white wine, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, several grinds black pepper, olive oil for frying chicken.
1 – Make marinade for chicken: in small bowl whisk together the oil, garlic, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Lay chicken into shallow dish in snug single layer and pour marinade over everything. Turn chicken to coat and set aside in fridge for at least a 1/2 hour (can be done several hours ahead)
2 – To cook the chicken: Put big saute pan on high heat and add a tablespoon or more of olive oil. When pan is hot sear chicken in batches of 3 making sure to shake off marinade a little before putting in the pan. (if you crowd the pan, the chicken will steam, not sear). Reserve the marinade. It will cook quickly so pay attention. Remove chicken to a plate when done and wash pan (it will be blackish from the marinade)
3 – Put cleaned pan back on stove-top and arrange seared chicken in snug single layer. With a spatula scrape rest of marinade over chicken and the wine. Bring everything to a simmer. Turn heat down and cover. Simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave until ready to serve.
For the Salad & Dressing; you will need; 2 heads of lettuce (I used lovely locally grown lettuce), washed and leaves separated, 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, 1 cup baby radishes (I used locally grown french breakfast radishes), sliced, 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 scant tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp strong mustard, 1/4 tsp sea-salt, several grinds of pepper.
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Put tomatoes on small baking sheet and toss in 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil. Rub everything in with your hands to coat each tomato. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and roast in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
2 – In the meantime prep rest of salad components and make dressing. In small bowl whisk together the remaining oil, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your taste adding more salt, oil or vinegar as desired.
Lay radishes and cold tomatoes on top of greens and drizzle with dressing before serving – very delicious!