cook like ellis cooley: roasted chicken and grilled zucchini salad with grapes and feta vinaigrette

How simple – and delicious –  does this dish sound? I have a chicken in my fridge and now know what I’m making for the game on Sunday. This recipe comes to us from chef Ellis Cooley of AMP150.

Roasted Chicken

1 3# farm raised chicken
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.  Split chicken down the back into two pieces.  Place on a roasting rack and squeeze the lemon from each half onto each side of the chicken.  Spread the juice evenly and allow drying for 20 minutes.  Season heavily on both side and evenly distribute the oil onto the skin of the chicken.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Grapes and Feta Vinaigrette

3 standard zucchinis
¼ c. red grapes cut in half
1 sprig fresh oregano
2 TBSP feta vinaigrette

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into three equal pieces and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add small amount of olive oil and remaining juice from lemons and place flat side down on a hot grill for two minutes on each side or until ¾ of the way cooked.  Stack on top of each other and allow cooling to complete the cooking process.  Cut each piece into 3 strips and dice.  Add the grapes and leaves from the oregano to the cooled zucchini and dress with 2 ounces of vinaigrette.

Feta Vinaigrette

¼ cup feta broken into small chunks
1 lemon
1 pint olive oil

Break feta into a medium bowl.  Zest the lemon into the bowl then cut in half and add the juice as well.  Add all of the olive oil to the mixture and season heavily with cracked black pepper and a little salt to taste.

Heinen's Logo PMS 350 & 209

This recipe was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making this dish at home, Laurie from the Avon store says that this dish  screams Sauvignon Blanc.  Sauvignon Blanc, she explains, has citrus notes and is a dry, light-medium body wine; with the lemon in this recipe it would be a perfect pairing with the chicken. She says that the wine also loves vegetables and goat cheese (Feta is a type of goat cheese and the tart in the wine cancels out the tart in the cheese).  Her pick: Simi Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma ($12.99).


  1. jaybee
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    This sounds great. I’m assuming its 1/4 cup of grapes, right? Also, the recipe for the zucchini calls for a lot less feta vinegarette than the recipe will make. Is that measurement correct? If so, how long do you suppose the vinegarette will keep? Thanks.

  2. Michelle V
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Yep – 1 1/4 c. I usually keep my vinaigrettes for 5 or so days in the fridge but I can ask so we know for certain.

  3. Michelle V
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    oops, means a 1/4 c, not 1 1/4 c.

  4. ellis cooley
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    The dressing will last for quite some time stored covered in the fridge. Feta has a high salt content and when covered with olive oil it can last several weeks. Not that you won’t go through it much faster. It makes a great dip for warm bread or over most anything.