Cooking With the Muscadine Grapes
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Most will recognize the sweet Muscadine grape by the variety of sweet wines produced right there in Eastern North Carolina. They are very commonly grown and celebrated by many Muscadine lovers each year. This year marks the 13th Annual Muscadine Festival and will be held right down the road in Kenansville on Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30, for more detailed information you can go to visit the festival website.
Nutritionally, Muscadine grapes are an excellent source of dietary fiber — you’ll get about 105 calories and 7 grams of fiber from a serving of 35 Muscadine. The fruit and its juice are both sweet and fragrant. Muscadine juice has a high concentration of the cholesterol-lowering nutrient resveratrol, making it a healthy beverage choice if consumed in moderation.
Generally, the Muscadine is used in jams, jellies, wines, or any other recipes using grapes.
Many times I have had the honor of judging the Muscadine Cooking Contest component of the upcoming Muscadine Festival, and who knew how many recipes there are for Muscadine! Here are some I found interesting!
- 2 pounds Muscadine grapes
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- Remove skins from Muscadine; reserve skins. Cook pulp and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes or until seeds loosen. Press mixture through a wire-mesh strainer, discarding seeds. Return pulp mixture to saucepan; stir in reserved skins, lemon rind, and apple pie spice.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in an 11×7-inch baking dish in a 350°F oven. Stir together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, and milk; pour over melted butter. Pour Muscadine mixture over batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until golden. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
Muscadine Grape Butter
- 5 pounds Muscadine grapes
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoon ground mace
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Wash grapes; drain and remove stems. Plunge grapes into rapidly boiling water to cover; boil 2 minutes. Drain well. Slip off grape skins and grind or chop skins finely, reserving pulp; set aside.
- Place pulp in a heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until seeds begin to separate from pulp. Press pulp through a sieve to remove seeds; discard seeds. Return pulp to saucepan; add reserved skins and remaining ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 30 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- Quickly ladle butter into hot sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Cover at once with metal lids and screw bands tight. Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes.
Yield: 8 half pints.
Drunken Chicken with Muscadine Grapes
(Courtesy of the Edible Piedmont Magazine)
- 1 chicken (4 ½ – 5 pounds), cut into 10 serving pieces
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onion
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups Muscadine grapes, halved and seeded (along with any skins that slip off) ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (leaves and tender stems)
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels: season with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat; working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides and transfer them to a platter; discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil left in the pan.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic, mustard, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pan; bring to a boil. Return the chicken and all of the juices that have collected on the bottom of the platter to the pan.
- Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the grapes and skins and stir well; cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and pepper. Transfer the stew to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Muscadine Lemon Butter Chicken
(A Duplin Winery Favorite)
Lemon Butter Sauce
- ¼ cup Duplin Muscadine Easy Wine
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup butter, chilled
- salt and pepper to taste
Chicken and Pasta
- ½ pound dry bow tie pasta
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to ¼ inch thickness
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces bacon
- 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 6 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and halved
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- To make the sauce, pour the Duplin Muscadine Easy Wine and lemon juice into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook at a low boil until the liquid is reduced by ⅓.
Stir in cream, and simmer until it thickens. Gradually add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time to the sauce, stirring until completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
- To make the chicken, heat oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. In a bowl, stir together flour, salt, and pepper. Lightly coat chicken with flour mixture. Without crowding, carefully place chicken in hot oil. (If necessary, cook in batches.) Fry until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
- Remove the chicken and set atop paper towels. Stir the bacon, mushrooms, artichokes, and capers into the oil; cook until the mushrooms are soft.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size strips, and return them to the skillet. Stir half of the lemon butter sauce into the chicken mixture.
- To serve, place pasta in a large bowl. Stir the chicken mixture into the pasta. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Stir in additional lemon butter sauce as desired. Toss well, and garnish with parsley.