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

Text Only
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014