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.
- 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
- 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.
- Finely chop the rosemary and put it in a bowl with 3 tablespoons* olive oil and some pepper.
- Add the chicken breasts and marinate for, at least, 1 hour.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden then set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken.
*These are 20mil tablespoons