Main Course – Grilled Lemon Chicken with Linguine

grilled chicken 2Tonight we moved on to the main course – Grilled Lemon Chicken with Linguine, fresh green beans on the side.  This is the warmest day of this week and I wanted to cook this meal on the grill but of course that isn’t the easiest way to cook pasta.   One note; we do not have air conditioning in our house – most do not have air conditioning in their homes here in Vermont.  Many do not even have a/c in their cars (I don’t).  To offset the heat of boiling pasta in the kitchen in the evening, I decided to boil the pasta to an al dente level early in the day and then reheat it in the evening.  Not the most gourmet method but it worked.  I didn’t rinse the pasta until right before I served it, and I rinsed it in very, very hot water.  This worked fine.

I found this recipe on  The recipe is as follows:

Chicken Lemon Linguine


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 pound seasoned grilled chicken chunks
  • 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


Heat butter and olive oil together in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add milk, bouillon, oregano, salt, and pepper to onion mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook sauce for 5 minutes. Whisk cold water and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth. Mix cornstarch mixture and chicken into sauce; cook until heated through and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook linguine at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

Turn heat under saucepan with sauce to low; add lemon juice, parsley, and lemon zest and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta, toss to coat, and transfer to a serving bowl; top with Parmesan cheese.

My changes to this recipe;  Igreen beans increased the cornstarch by one tablespoon (a total of three tablespoons), I grilled a flattened chicken breast, seasoned with olive oil, salt and a little lemon pepper then cut the chicken into one inch strips.  I used white pepper and a bit of the lemon pepper in the sauce.  I cut down on the Oregano, only used 1/2 teaspoon.  This recipe was served by putting the pasta onto the plate, adding strips of chicken, spooning sauce over this and then the parsley was sprinkled on the top.  pinot grigio I omitted the Parmesan cheese.

The green beans were so beautiful, fresh from the field, that I only steamed them for 3 minutes.  I always add salt and lemon to the water when steaming vegetables and this worked ideally with this side dish.

Reata_Chardonnay_LInitially I thought to serve a chardonnay with this meal but after preparing it, I thought a Pinot Gris would be better.  We opened both a Reata Chardonnay (not the Franciscan Napa Valley Chardonnay as originally planned) and a Da Vinci Pinot Grigio.  The Da Vinci Pinot Grigio won the evening, hands down.   I believe it was the crispness of the citrus and acidity of the Da Vinci that paired so perfectly with the lemon in the sauce.  The Reata was nice but a bit too complex for this meal.  It could have been the warm weather, difficult to say.  The Reata is one of my favorite chardonnays, it is not overly buttery or heavy.  Instead, the Reata starts out with some acidity but has a smooth finish.   This is a very good chardonnay but for this particular pairing I would go with the Da Vinci Pinot Grigio.

This meal was excellent on a warm summer evening.  The lemon in the sauce was light and refreshing, the wine was crisp and of course the company was wonderful.

The fourth course is the salad course, odd for us here in the States.  We usually eat our salad before the main course but I am looking forward to this salad.

Five Courses, Five Wines in Five Days

Sunset over Lake Champlain Burlington, Vermont.
Sunset over Lake Champlain Burlington, Vermont.

As Summer begins to wind down here in Vermont (so very sad), I thought it would be an opportune time to take advantage of the bounty I’ve been finding at our local Farmer’s Market.  The local produce has given me inspiration for a five course meal.  Unfortunately, we are not at a place in our lives to consume this much food at one setting.  We’ve been trying to cut down our consumption of food, smaller meals, smaller portions.  So…what to do?  I decided to do a five course meal in five days – with wine of course.  The menu has been planned knowing our weather will be very, very warm this week.

I will be writing on the progress of this plan each day – so stay tuned!  The menu planned is:

tricolored-peppers-goat-cheese-su-xMonday = Appetizer = Roasted Tricolored Peppers and Goat Cheese with Ciabatta Bread.

Wine will be an Albarino; Burgans Burgans-Albarino-2013Albarino Baixas Rioja White. Sauvignon Blanc would be the obvious choice but because the weather is very warm and this is an appetizer I’m going with the Albarino.

tuna and corn salad  Tuesday = Fish Course = Grilled Tuna and Corn Salad

Wine will be a rosé; Rive Sud. This rosé is made from the Pinot Noir grape giving it aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry, and rive sudwatermelon. I think this wine will bring out the nuances of the Tuna and the sweetness of the caramelized corn.

lemon chickenWednesday = Main Course = Lemon Chicken with Linguine and Fresh Green Beans

Wine will be a Chardonnay; Franciscan Napa Valley Chardonnay. I believe the apple, 2011-Franciscan-Estate-Napa-Valley-Chardonnaypear and nectarine flavors in this wine will pair well with the lemon in the chicken.

fennel saladThursday = Salad = Fennel-Radicchio Salad

Wine will be a Barberra; Scagliola Mati Barbera. The liveliness of this Italian red should play barberawell with the peppery tones of the salad.

roasted pearsFriday – Dessert = Roasted pears with blue cheese and walnuts.

Wine will be Warre’s Warrior Port – the obvious choice for warre'sthis dessert.

This is the plan, we’ll see what actually happens!