Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Balsamic, Orange, and Rosemary Chicken

There is a new friend at our house, but we are hoping he doesn't stay long.  He is not the best house guest.  Our dog seems to like him fine, but we aren't big fans of the trenches he is digging, or the holes he is creating in the yard. We have tried to reason with him, tempt him elsewhere, catch him in a humane trap with a promise of being set free in an open field, but he just won't leave. We attempted the vibrating stakes in the ground.  The website for these promised to drive him away without harm.  We were a little skeptical, but many of the reviews were positive, that is, of course, all except one reviewer who wrote: "Don't waste your money.  The only way these get rid of gophers is if you accidentally stab one in the heart while pounding them into the ground."  We had a good laugh about that.  But so far, he seems to be right.  I'm not sure the vibrating stakes have even deterred the gopher from the immediate surrounding area.   If anything, it seems we are now providing him free massage.  No wonder he isn't too anxious to leave.  Ugh, what to do?  Any suggestions are welcome.  We are running out of humane options. 

As for the recipe, my very thoughtful and kind husband made this for me awhile back.  Wasn't that nice of him?  I hope you will remember his kindness if my fear becomes reality, and we have to resort to a rather unfortunate method of getting rid of the gopher...

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150ml fresh orange juice
150ml pint chicken stock
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
orange segments and fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish

1. Put the chicken between pieces of plastic wrap and flatten slightly by bashing with a meat tenderizer. Unwrap and sprinkle on both sides with pepper. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then brown the chicken for 5 minutes, turning halfway through.

2. Pour 2 tbsp vinegar over the chicken, add the orange juice and stock and sprinkle with the rosemary and salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and bubble gently for 5-8 minutes until tender, spooning with the sauce frequently and turning chicken halfway through.

3. Stir in the sugar, butter and rest of the vinegar, then sizzle for a few minutes until reduced and glossy.

4. Put the chicken in a serving dish, spoon the sauce over and garnish with orange and rosemary. Serve with rice and a crisp green salad.

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