Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grape Escape

Thatboy and I have a wedding to attend this weekend, not to mention Thatbrother's upcoming birthday, so I've been spending my lunches running around trying to get things together for the events.

Today I tried to take care of both by heading to the salon for a quick waxing, and picking up a gift for Thatbrother. The errands took me to a part of town with a farmer's market I hadn't ever visited. I think that's probably an omen. So I stopped to pick up some fruit.

This is one of my favorite things about living in California:

Summer grapes. If California is known for one thing, it's probably avocados. But throw in a second thing and you're bound to have someone bring up our fantastic wine. Which comes from grapes. Those same grapes which start showing up at our farmers' markets at the end of the summer. Sweet, juicy, and cheap, they're one of my favorite summer indulgences. Since they're easy to pack in a bag, Thatboy and I carry them around whenever we go out. I sliced a bunch of them up and threw them together with some of the other fruit I picked up (strawberries, watermelon, mango) for a giant fruit salad. Which we ate all of within a few hours of me making it.

Running all over town for these errands definitely reminded me it's still hot and summer. I knew I didn't want to turn on the oven tonight, so a stovetop chicken it was. And I went to my go to sauce - a quick and easy wine reduction. And of course I went with a California wine because of the whole grape thing. I threw in some fresh tomatoes, because they're also perfect at this point of the summer (sweet, juicy, and cheap just like the grapes). And the pièce de résistance was one of those "necessity is the mother of invention" type things. I had made scrambled eggs with mushrooms last week and had some mushrooms that I wasn't sure would last too much longer. So they got chopped up and thrown in too.

Chicken with Mushrooms
whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the onion to the pan. Smash the garlic with the side of a knife and throw them in too. Cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the chicken back in with the wine, tomato, and mushrooms. Cover the skillet and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


  1. Oh hey, I had a stovetop chicken today too, with onions and rosemary and a honey mustard glaze. :-)

    I didn't know California is known for grapes, at least not the southern region!

  2. Concord and champagne grapes have been showing up at markets here - and I am in love. I love the simplicity of this and since we cook chicken 2-3 times a week - I definitely know that this will be in my future.

  3. I have been a grape FIEND lately. I'm stoked the farmers market is tomorrow so I can get some more!

  4. Mmm grapes...I was wondering why they were so cheap here this week! Must have been important from CA

  5. Growing-up in South Florida. I can totally relate to the abundance of avocados...The grapes? Only muscadines (sugary sweet, ugh)... That is how they make Florida wine-enough said (laugh).

    Love your evening meal. Rock on summer! Actually, I can hardly wait for some cooler air but, your summer dish rocks.


  6. I am sor sorry you were not able to cook with Giada, but it sounds like a fun experience.

  7. Please delete that last message if you can. Boy am I having computer trouble!!! Freezing, crashing and now commenting on one blog and not the other. Your dish looks so comforting!!!!