From the Chardonnay chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2011)
You need to start a day or so ahead to marinate the peppers. But you’ll be rewarded with a juicy, succulent mixture that’s both pretty and yummy.
The whole setup is served on top of a piece of toasted sourdough bread—all the better to soak up every yummy drop.
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 small orange
- 3 tablespoons white or golden balsamic vinegar (see below)
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 6 large boneless chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), ideally skin-on
- Six 1/2-inch-thick slices crusty artisan sourdough bread
Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Place the bell peppers on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred, 12 to 18 minutes. (You can also char the peppers directly over a medium flame on a gas stovetop. Sit them each right on the grate over a burner and cook, turning occasionally, until charred all over, 8 to 12 minutes.) Cover and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to cut the colored part of the peel from half of the orange. Cut the peel crosswise into thin slices (save the remaining orange for another use). Set aside.
Wipe most of the charred skin from the peppers, then halve the peppers and discard the core and seeds. Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch slices. In a medium bowl, combine the peppers, orange peel, vinegar, garlic, 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 3 days, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the chicken and bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and remaining 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Grill the chicken until it’s cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes, place the bread on the grill and turn it to lightly toast both sides. Top each piece of toasted bread with a piece of chicken, transfer to a platter or plates, and let the chicken rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
Top the chicken with the pepper mixture, dividing evenly, and serve.
NOTE You could say that white or golden balsamic vinegar is to balsamic vinegar as white grape juice is to grape juice—they’re similar, but the white version is lighter and fruitier. You can find white or golden balsamic in most supermarkets and wherever regular balsamic is sold. Besides using it in this recipe, you can use it in many of your favorite salad dressings.