Braised Free Range Chicken

with San Marzano tomatoes and porcini mushrooms

  • 1 chicken free range (about 4 lbs), cut into serving pieces and skinned, or 8 skinned chicken thighs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped canned San Marzano tomatoes with juices
  • 4oz flavorful fresh mushrooms such as porcini or portobello, tough stems discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp crumbled dried oregano
  • Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper toweling. Lightly sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

Select a large skillet or other pan that will later hold all of the chicken pieces without crowding them. Pour the oil into the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Add the chicken and cook on one side until well browned, about 2 minutes, then turn and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer. Using tongs, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir the mushrooms, wine, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Allow to cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato and add the reserved chicken, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover tightly, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue simmering, partially covered until the chicken is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes longer.

Remove the chicken pieces to a platter. If the sauce in the pan is thin, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture is somewhat thickened. Stir in chopped parsley, spoon the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with additional minced parsley if desired.

Click here to watch chef James create this recipe.

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  • 6 ñora (or 3 ancho) chilies
  • 1/2 cup small pieces day old crusty bread
  • 1 cup marcona almonds
  • 1/2 cup piquillo peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teas smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teas cayenne
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • 2 teas sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbl lemon juice

Stem and seed the ñora chilies. Put the chilies in a small sauce pan and add just enough water to cover. Simmer for 15 minutes or until chilies are quite soft . Remove chilies from water and add the bread pieces to absorb the water.

Process the almonds until ground to a coarse meal. Remove from the food processor and reserve.

Combine the chilies, bread, piquillo peppers, garlic, paprika, cayenne, vinegar, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until combined. Add the almonds and pulse until evenly distributed.


Pan-Seared Filet Mignon

  • 4 8oz Filet Mignon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & Pepper

For the filet mignon, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Allow steaks to come to room temperature and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Bring a heavy bottom sauté pan to medium–high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is hot, add filets and sear for 3-4 minutes on one side until a nice crust is formed. Turn-over the steaks then place pan into the oven. About 10 minutes for medium-rare, 128 degrees internal temperature. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes.

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Mango, Brie, and Pepper Jack Quesadilla

  • 6–8” flour tortillas
  • 8oz pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 4oz brie, sliced 1/4” thick
  • 1 ripe mango, 1/4” diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Place 3 tortillas on cutting board. Sprinkle 1/2 of the pepper jack evenly across the three tortillas. Add the cilantro, scallions, brie, and mango to each tortilla, spreading evenly across all three. Then top each tortilla with the remaining pepper jack. Top with remaining tortillas.

Heat lightly oiled non-stick pan (or grill pan) to medium-high. Cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer with spatula to cutting board and cut into four equal pieces. Serve immediately.


Summer Corn Bisque

Yield: 48oz.

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 leek bottom (white portion chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 cup fresh sweet yellow corn, about 10 ears (cobs reversed for stock)
  • 1/2 crème fraiche
  • Lemon-infused olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

For the corn stock

  • 8 cups water
  • 10 cobs
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 1 leek top (green portion chopped)
  • 1 spring flat leaf parsley

For the corn stock, put corn cobs, parsley, thyme, and 8 cups cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. Strain, discard solids, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

For the bisque, in a large sauce pan over low heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until soft (careful not to brown). Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the corn and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 7 cups of the corn stock and bring to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and purée in batches in a blender or food processor. Use the remaining stock to adjust consistency of soup if needed. Season with salt to taste. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids.

Gently rewarm bisque, portion into bowls, garnish with drizzle of lemon, dollop of crème fraiche and sea salt.