As it continues to warm up and the days get longer, I look for every excuse possible to spend as much time as I can in the sun. But days in the sun mean when I finally get home for the evening, all I want is a cold glass of wine and a light meal that’s easy to make.
With fresh produce finally back in the markets, one of my go-to meals for relief from a hot day is a cool summer salad of fresh spring peas, feta and spinach. I started making this salad a few years ago, adapting a Jamie Oliver recipe, and I find every time I make it, I always help myself to more than one serving.
To go along with the salad, I decided to make some simple grilled drumsticks. While for most people grilling means heading out the backyard or deck to fire up the grill, living in New York doesn’t afford me that luxury, so grilling for me means using the broiler. Ever since Mark Bittman wrote about how the broiler is basically just an upside-down grill, anytime I’m craving those classic grill flavors, it’s my go-to. It’s a great trick as well if a storm ever happens to roll in during your outdoor BBQ.
As for my refreshing wine, I chose a light Pinot Noir that I had chilled. I love drinking chilled red wine in the summer, and if the red is bright and light-bodied, as Pinot Noir can often be, serving it chilled can be just as refreshing as a nice white.
For the chicken:
- 4-6 drumsticks
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
For the salad:
- 5 ounces (1 bag) fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup fresh peas (frozen works here too)
- 1 cup of crumbled feta
- 4 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Create a marinade by combining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Coat the drumsticks in the marinade and set aside to sit for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, heat your grill or broiler, shell your peas (if using fresh) and pour yourself a glass of wine.
When your grill or broiler is hot enough, begin cooking the chicken (25-30 minutes).
As the chicken cooks, assemble your salad ingredients and make the dressing by combining the 4 tablespoons of olive olive and lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste.
When the chicken is finished, pull it off the grill and set it aside to rest for a few minutes. While it rests, combine your salad ingredients and toss it with the dressing.
Plate your salad and chicken, pour yourself another glass of wine and dig in.