Whenever I’m planning the spread for a party, my first instinct is to make everything from scratch. I love the idea of controlling as much of the flavor in my dishes as possible. And while this method pays off well, there are some pretty delicious alternatives that will save you time and take your dish in pleasant unexpected directions.
During a recent visit to Napa, I had the pleasure of visiting a number of wineries including Castello Di Amorosa — a gorgeous castle amidst acres of vibrant vineyard. Within this castle were a number of interesting corridors, towers offering impressive views and lavish tasting rooms. What turned out to be my favorite space of all was the gift shop.
Unlike most of the gift shops I entered during my Napa visit, this particular one consisted primarily of items with which you could cook. From instructional books and gadgets to an array of spices and oils, the shop, which was set in the tiniest of all the rooms, had the most to offer. Safe to say, I dropped a pretty penny before I moved on to the actual wine tasting, and this recipe I share with you today utilizes one of the gems I found for sale.
My Honey Basil Chicken with Braised Cabbage has Castello Di Amorosa’s Basil Grapeseed Oil running throughout the entire dish. From the light marinade to the sweet glaze that finds its way onto everything, there is a flavor that comes from the oil that I had never encountered. It is fragrant and marries every aspect of the dish together seamlessly. And because of the oil’s distinct qualities, this recipe only consists of a handful of additional spices that raise the dish to its unique and profound glory.
Whether you are hosting a dinner for 2 or a dinner party for 12, this recipe (which can be easily multiplied to suit your needs) is a winner brought to life by an ingredient you can find already prepared. Try it out and tell me what you think!
Honey Basil Chicken with Braised Cabbage
(recipe serving size – 2-3 people)
For the honey basil glaze:
3 tb honey
1 tb basil grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Mix the ingredients in a jar and seal with a lid.
For the chicken and cabbage:
4 chicken thighs
1 cup white wine
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1 tb basil grapeseed oil
8 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt plus 1/2 tsp for cabbage
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper plus 1/4 for cabbage
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Coat the chicken in the oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. In an oven-safe pan over medium to medium-high heat, sear the chicken on each side for 3 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cabbage to the chicken drippings along with the additional salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and fresh basil. Sauté for another minute. Add the wine and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Drizzle 1 tb of the honey basil glaze on the chicken and place the entire pan in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Drizzle the rest of the honey basil glaze on the chicken and cabbage and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve while warm.