By: Eddie Ceccherini
Executive Bistro Chef
The Bistro at LaBelle Winery - Amherst, NH
One of the joys of summer is cooking on the backyard grill for family and friends. As Executive Bistro Chef at LaBelle Winery Amherst, I set out to create a dish that captures the spirit of outdoor grill cooking, combining new and exciting flavors and textures that are outstanding and visually beautiful (we eat with our eyes first)! The result is a fabulous BBQ Chicken dish with Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish.
The key to this dish is our Winemaker's Kitchen Red Wine Cocoa Barbecue Sauce. The BBQ "secret sauce," made right here at the winery, adds rich cocoa, spice, and savory flavors to any pork, chicken or beef dish you'd prepare at home! I'm sharing this fantastic BBQ Chicken and Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish recipe with you so you can WOW your family and friends with this beautiful dish, or come to the winery an experience it here! I created the BBQ sauce by happenstance! I was attempting to make a not-so-sweet chocolate sauce and through experimentation, created a savory and richly smooth BBQ sauce. I continued to modify the sauce until I achieved that perfect "enhance everything" balanced BBQ sauce - with the end product being so versatile and delicious, we added it to The Winemaker's Kitchen culinary product line!
When creating meals at home, I recommend you start by sourcing really great products. The end result is the food you put on the family table will taste better and be healthier. I'm proud to work for an organization that really "gets it" by growing and locally sourcing products. As a result, I know the food we serve in The Bistro (and events) is fresher and healthier and supports local farmers and shops including Cobb Hill Cheese, Donabedian Farms, Alyson’s Orchards, Astarte Farm, Von Trapp Farmstead, Cricket Creek Farm, Julie’s Happy Hens, Contoocook Creamery, North Country Smokehouse, King Arthur Flour and Commonwealth Poultry and many more.
I appreciate working at LaBelle Winery as creativity abounds with having 30+ varieties of LaBelle wines to work with to enhance our menu offerings. I enjoy preparing food with wine because the final product is more flavorful, tender and juicy - with no concern about alcohol, it's cooked off. I highly suggest you try LaBelle for lunch, brunch or dinner; our menus are exciting and delicious and satisfy everyone, even children! I often take a stroll through the Bistro; never hesitate to say hello!
Happy and healthy cooking!
Cocoa BBQ Chicken with Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish
How to make the Cocoa BBQ Rub
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
- 1 jar of The Winemaker's Kitchen Red Wine Cocoa BBQ Sauce (sold at LaBelle Winery or online at labellewinerynh.com)
- 3 tbs dark cocoa powder
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbs kosher salt
- 1 tbs cumin
- Add chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and shake to coat the chicken with the spice mix. Massage the spice mix into the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit overnight. This allows the flavors time to set.
- Bake or grill until a thermometer inserted into the chicken pieces reads 165 degrees.
- Brush on The Winemaker's Kitchen Red Wine Cocoa BBQ Sauce and cook for three to five more minutes. Serve with Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish and your favorite side-dish such as a tossed salad or cole slaw.
How to make the Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish
- 4 ears fresh corn, husked
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1/4 cup diced red peppers
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 1 Jalapeño pepper, diced fine
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 2 tbs fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbs fresh oregano
- Salt and black pepper
- Brush the corn with olive oil then season with salt and black pepper. Place the ears of corn over the grill and cook for about one to two minutes on all sides, until soft and golden in spots.
- Once the corn has cooled cut off the kernels and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the diced tomato, onions, peppers, oregano, jalapeño pepper, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Mix well to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let sit overnight to allow the flavors to come together.
Show NH Flavors and LaBelle Winery the end result of your cooking! Tag us on Instagram and Facebook at @nhflavors and @labellewinery. Visit labellewinerynh.com for more information about the winery and Chef Eddie's work in the Bistro.