The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


June 15, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Grapes to grow and grapes to eat

PALESTINE — The grapes in the Sabor a Pasion vineyard are really coming along and should be ready to harvest just in time for our Grape Stomp event on July 27. I can’t believe that after three long years of babying the vines and watching them grow that we are finally going to have our first harvest.

So with all this talk about grapes I was reminded of a dish that I used to cook all the time in New Zealand. It’s actually a French recipe, but don’t worry, it’s very easy.

Chicken Veronique is made with white grapes, but the ones I am growing, blanc du bois, would not be a good choice since they are full of seeds and wine grapes are very tart with tough skins.

If you prefer red grapes, those would be nice as well, and lend a bit of color to the dish. Just be sure to use seedless.

For the meat, I prefer to use bone-in chicken breast because the bone gives the meat so much more flavor. Actually when I make this I will buy a whole chicken, cut it into eight pieces – breasts in two pieces, two thighs, two legs and two wings – and cooked with the skin still on the meat.

The sauce is great with only a few ingredients, but lots of flavor.

A variation of this recipe is to serve it cold as a chicken salad. Just substitute the cream with mayonnaise and you have a very nice chicken salad to serve at your next picnic.

For more information about the Sabor a Pasion Harvest Fest and Grape Stomp go to

Chicken Veronique


1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Salt and pepper to season chicken

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1/4 cup chopped white onions

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup dry  white wine

1 cup sliced white seedless grapes

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