Monday, September 07, 2009


makes six servings

8 cups water
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
6 chicken breast halves (preferably organic) with skin and bones, wing tips attached
4 cups pecan shells (from 1 1/2 pounds cracked pecans in shells)
Wheat Berries with Bacon (recipe below)
1 tablespoon icewine mixed with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
microgreens, watercress sprigs, or pea tendrils (for garnish; optional)
13x9x2-inch disposable aluminum foil pan

Wheat Berries with Bacon

1 1/2 cups dried wheat berries
6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 cups chopped leeks (from 2 large leeks; white and pale green parts only)
2 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons icewine mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Cook wheat berries in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, about 55 minutes. Drain. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Add leeks to drippings in skillet; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; stir until soft, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and butter; stir until butter melts. Add wheat berries and stir until heated through. Mix in bacon and icewine-cider vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Smoky Chicken and Wheat Berries with Bacon

Stir 8 cups water, brown sugar, and salt in large bowl. Let stand until sugar and salt dissolve, stirring occasionally. Submerge chicken in brine. Let soak in brine at room temperature 45 minutes. Drain, discarding brine. Transfer chicken to rack set over baking sheet; let chicken air-dry 30 minutes.

Remove grill racks from barbecue. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place pecan shells in disposable pan; place pan directly atop coals (for charcoal barbecue) or place directly over flames (for gas barbecue). Return grill racks to barbecue. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. When pecan shells begin to smoke, place chicken, skin side down, on grill rack. Cover and grill until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.

Divide Wheat Berries with Bacon among 6 plates. Place 1 chicken breast atop wheat berries on each plate. Drizzle with icewine-cider vinegar mixture. Garnish with greens and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Lee Richardson, Bon Appetit, September 2009

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