Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Pinenuts and Verjuice

2013 10 04_0930 copy

The last week has been very hectic for us.

Our Lily is not the best, so we have had more than our fair share of visits to the vet.

Then we got a virus on our Bridgetown computer.  My profile could not be loaded 😦  If this ever happens to you, ring me and I will be able to take you through the multiple steps needed before you can use your computer again.  It took me 6.5 hours of working in safe mode, copying files, repairing programs, setting up our mail accounts etc. We are now nearly back to normal.  We have lost our address book and need to reset all our preferences as if we had a new computer, but, at least, we are up and working.

Lastly, you will all be aware of the horrid bush fires which have been devastating the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. They have really brought home our need to be diligent when it comes to flammable material on our property.  Consequently, Maus and I have spent days and days raking up leaves and twigs and burning them.  It is a rush to get everything done before the fire ban begins at the end of October.  We seem to rake for hours to clear only a very small area.  It is amazing how much fuel builds up under gum trees over the years.

Given all of the above, simple meals have been the go.  And this dish is the epitome of simplicity.

The recipe is by the lovely Maggie Beer.  It is from her 2001 cookbook:  Cooking with Verjuice.  If you don’t have any verjuice and are interested in making the recipe, you could easily substitute a dry white wine, lemon juice or even a cider vinegar for the verjuice.

Because there are only two of us, I only cooked two chicken breasts, however, I maintained the other ingredients.  You could, of course, halve them.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 100 ml verjuice
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 chicken breasts on the bone and with the skin on
  • olive oil and butter to pan fry the chicken
  • coarsely ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the raisins in the verjuice.  According to the recipe, you are supposed to soak the raisins overnight but I didn’t realise this until I was ready to start cooking so mine got soaked for about one hour.  Maggie does advise that if you forget to soak the raisins, you can microwave them on defrost for about 5 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the rosemary and put it in a bowl with 3 tablespoons* olive oil and some pepper.
  3. Add the chicken breasts and marinate for, at least, 1 hour.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden then set aside.
  5. Cook the chicken.  Maggie pan fried hers in butter and olive oil but as mine were very thick, I decided to brown and then bake them.  This took about 45 minutes.
  6. When the chicken breasts are ready, season them with salt and pepper and then remove them from the pan.  Discard any remaining butter/olive oil.
  7. Pour the raisins and verjuice into the pan, deglaze the pan over heat until the liquid has reduced by half.  Stir in the pine nuts.
  8. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

*These are 20mil tablespoons

18 thoughts on “Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Pinenuts and Verjuice

  1. Pingback: Rigatoni with Broccoli, Almonds and Currants | Passion Fruit Garden

  2. The Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Pinenuts and Verjuice look lovely. I read this post almost a week ago but it transpired that I didn’t manage to comment until now. It did inspire me though during the week to cook 2 chicken breasts I bought on a whim then relegated to the freezer as I was worried they would be dry in my usual way of cooking them, so I soaked them in stock, pan fried then finished slow baking them in left over freezer pepper sauce – loose inspiration I know but it gave me courage. And I didn’t have the other ingredients on hand.
    The other inspiration-courage I derived was using verjuice. Your explanation that it’s used the similarly as dry white wine, lemon juice or a cider vinegar, led me to use the neglected bottle in my Saturday cooking blitz, and add it to the meat sauce, lasagne and meatballs I made to re-stock the almost empty freezer. The verjiuce highlighted the flavours – wonderful.

  3. I hate to hit the ‘like’ button on a post when someone’s had a week like yours. I’m sorry to hear about Lily and know how upsetting health problems can be. Ive got an 8 year old Bernese Mountain dog who is getting gimpy and now has a lump in her back that I’m hoping is only a cyst but does need a biopsy.
    There is nothing more frustrating to me than computer problems (and that’s my background but many years ago) and nothing worse than a virus. Whenever I’ve run into them I really wish that I could send one back that would completely melt their computer. Wouldn’t that be fitting?
    Stay safe from those fires.

    • Diane
      Thanks for your comments on Lily. My Lily is the opposite on size scale to your Lola, she is a Bichon Frise. I have three and they are all getting old. I have two from the same litter, Lily and Maggie and a boy, Jules, who is 18 months younger. The girls are 11.5 years old and Lily has Cushings Disease. This is an issue in itself but also causes her to be susceptible to getting other things. Last week she had an infected ear and a big sore she made by scratching. Poor thing. I hope Lola’s lump turns out only to be a cyst.

      The bug in the computer was so frustrating, even a week later when something doesn’t work, I have to remember that it was something I had configured on the computer some time in the last year or so. It has affected everything.

      We only have 2 more days to clear all flammable fuel from the block as on 1 November the total fire bans begin. We have been raking and burning now for 2 weeks. I cannot believe how much fuels builds up.

  4. Oh I do hope your Lily is okay. Thank goodness my Pete knows his way around a computer blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back – me well, I am one of “those: end users.
    I have been watching the news about your fires – so very scary! Stay safe.
    Fabulous quick easy chicken dish.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Hi Mandy Thanks for your concerns re Lily. She is ok at the moment, she has good days and bad days. I just get so frustrated with computers. I didn’t even know your profile could be corrupted until it happened. I am very persistent, so I just went through the steps one at a time until eventually I got the computer working again.

  5. oh dear, my laptop dying is my worst fear, I really wouldn’t know what to do except huddle in the corner and rock like an idiot! Glad you got through it.
    I hear you on raking leaves and cleaning gutters. Our house backs onto a National Park and we were on ‘high caution’ for some time. It’s so scary being on alert. Awful when it’s raining ashes. My neighbour has bad asthma and was stuck indoors with no aircon…
    Love your recipe Glenda, not a fan of pine nuts (I know, I know, you’re thinking what? No rose water AND pine nuts?!) but easily substituted for almonds 🙂

    • Hi Celia, it sounds terrible. We have had two bush fires in Bridgetown and they have been so scary. The ones in the Blue Mountains are clearly much, much worse. .

  6. I’m glad you were able to rid your machine of the virus. Yes, it may have taken 6.5 hours but it’s gone an that’s the important thing. I hope the fires stay clear of you and your home, Glenda. The reports I’ve seen are horrific. This chicken sounds delicious. Love the mix of textures as well as flavors.

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