Monday, January 11, 2016

Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Pine Nuts, and Verjuice

This recipe requires a bit of planning ahead, but the extra effort makes for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner. This simple chicken preparation gives the chicken a rich, brown crust and packs in plenty of flavour. The salsa agresto is delicious with the chicken, but I think you could be equally happy without it. Verjuice is easy to find in Australia, but if it's harder to find where you are, I think a white wine would be easier than playing ingredient sleuth. Serve with some olive oil mashed potatoes and an arugula salad.

One year ago: (on hiatus)
Two years ago: Tamarind Crab
Three years ago: Pureed beets with yogurt and za'atar
Four years ago: Grilled Sausages with Celery Root Salad and Hazelnuts
Five years ago: Pad Thai
Six years ago: Spinach Quiche

Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Pine Nuts, and Verjuice (from Maggie's Harvest)

1/3 cup (55g) raisins
1/4 cup verjuice
2 sprigs rosemary
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 chicken breasts, skin on
1/3 cup (50g) pine nuts
1 tbsp butter
sea salt flakes
salsa agresto

1. Soak the raisins in the verjuice overnight.
2. Strip the rosemary leaves and reserve for another dish. Place stalks in a bowl with 60ml olive oil and a little pepper. Add chicken breasts and marinate for at least an hour (or overnight).
3. Preheat oven to 220C. Moisten pine nuts with a little olive oil and roast for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
4. Heat butter until golden brown in a frying pan. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to pan to keep it from burning. Salt chicken breasts and pan-fry skin-side down over medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through. Set chicken aside.
5. Discard any butter (or olive oil) in the pan and toss in raisins and verjuice. Deglaze over high heat until liquid reduces by half.
6. Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts.
7. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with salsa agresto.

Salsa agresto
1 cup (160g) almonds
1 cup (100g) walnuts
2 cloves garlic
2 3/4 cups parsley leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup verjuice

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Roast almonds and walnuts for 5 minutes.
2. Blend nuts, garlic, herbs, salt, and 6 grinds of pepper in food processor with a little of the olive oil.
3. With the motor running, add the remaining olive oil and verjuice until a pesto-like consistency.

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