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April, 2019

Tablas Creek Goats


Did you know that California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing? Wineries statewide are celebrating their commitment to sustainability throughout April. Explore Down to Earth Month and the wide range of fun and educational public events on offer from eco-tours, tastings of earth-friendly wines, winery Earth Day parties, vineyard hikes and more. Can’t make the trip? Open a bottle of your favorite California wine and toast our commitment to green from grapes to glass.

The Pour

Which Wine?

California Pinot Noir has generous fruit aromas (think raspberry and cherry), lively acidity and plenty of depth—just the ticket for this boldly seasoned chicken dish. Premier AVAs (appellations) for Pinot Noir include Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Los Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Rita Hills, but you will find elegant Pinot Noirs from cool-climate areas throughout the state.

Meet the Grapes: Explore more wine pairings

The Recipe

Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Smoked Paprika

Spain’s smoky pimentón gives these succulent chicken thighs a deep, ruddy color as they roast on a bed of sliced red onion and sliced Meyer lemon. You’ll want to serve every drop of the garlicky pan juices. The soft citrus slices can be eaten or not, as you prefer. Pat the spice rub on the chicken in the morning or even the day before.

Wine suggestion: California Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 1 1⁄2 pounds
  • (750 g) total
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Spice Rub:
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 1 Meyer lemon (or navel orange), ends removed, then thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced from stem to root
  • 24 green olives (optional)

Serves 4


Coat the chicken thighs all over with the olive oil. In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients, mixing well. Sprinkle on both sides of the chicken. Set the seasoned thighs on a rack over a plate or tray and refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Choose a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the thighs in a single layer without touching. Put the lemon and onion slices in the baking dish and toss them together. Remake them into a flat bed and set the thighs directly on top.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then baste with the pan juices. Continue roasting until the chicken skin is well browned and crisp and the onions and lemons are just beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes longer. Add the green olives, if using, about 10 minutes before the chicken is done.

Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle.

Wine Institute is an association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact


Certified sustainable producer Jordan Winery, owner of the Wine Country Table website and magazine, consents to Wine Institute’s use of its trademark for this book. Find food, wine, entertaining and travel tips at