I love using lemons and wine to cook with. The two combined provide a refreshing acidity to any dish and when you are going low carb, it’s all about packing a flavor punch. It’s easy to get bored with baked or poached chicken, so I spiced it up tonight a little with a Meyer Lemon Rosemary Chicken. I have found that almond flour is a great way to add a little texture to meat. You can use regular lemons, but I find Meyer lemons are a little sweeter and tend to pack more juice.
When choosing wine for this dish, you definitely want to stick with a white varietal and there are many that work. You want a wine that mirrors the citrus note and that has medium body. If you haven’t tried a Viognier, this is a great choice. Viognier is the official state grape of Virginia and is indigenous to the Rhone Valley of France. Viognier is quite unique, it tends to have the similar body of a Chardonnay, bright citrus notes of a Sauvignon Blanc and some of the floral aromatics of a Riesling. It’s a great choice when you are tired of the same old Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. It’s highly aromatic, but it’s not sweet. Keep in mind Viognier is difficult to grow and can become bitter when conditions aren’t perfect.
There are several other wines that would work quite well with this dish such as a nice Chablis, Pouilly Fuisse or unoaked Chardonnay from the U.S. Since I am a Virginia girl, I need to recommend the Chatham Vineyards Church Creek Steel Chardonnay. They use dijon clones and make a really great unoaked Chardonnay with vibrant acidity and nice minerality that may remind you more of a Burgundian style than a typical American Chardonnay. It also offers a great value at under $20 a bottle.
Recipe: Lemon Rosemary Chicken (Paleo-friendly)
4-6oz chicken breasts
2 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for brushing)
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence (thyme, basil, savory, fennel & lavender)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup dry white wine (Viognier, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay)
2 meyer lemons (zest from one)
rosemary sprigs for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush a thin coat of olive oil on the chicken, then sprinkle salt, pepper & Herbs de Provence on both sides of the chicken. Then dust both sides in a thin layer of almond flour to provide a little texture and nutty flavor. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan (oven proof) and sear chicken on both sides for 5 minutes or until golden on each side. This will help lock in the juices. Add juice & zest from 1 lemon and 1/4 cup wine to the chicken. Put in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with rosemary and lemon slices.