If someone makes a prize for longest title ever for a blog post, this post would probably win. But it’s worth the extra characters, I promise.
Orange rosemary chicken is one of my go-tos for a simple but delicious dinner. It’s one of the easiest things in the world to make, and a lovely blend of flavors.
By the way, have you ever made a balsamic glaze? I hadn’t until last week. Maybe it was the cabin fever that had taken over my mind. Maybe it was the fact that I had just purchased a pound of butter. But I went into my cabinet for olive oil, saw the balsamic vinegar, and I don’t know what came over me. All I could think was “Balsamic glaze… Brilliant.” And it was settled. I was making a balsamic glaze. Or so I hoped, since I’d never done it before.
Orange Rosemary Chicken (serves 2)
2 T olive oil
2 chicken breast halves, tenderized
1/2 medium onion or 1 small shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c orange juice (pulp free) or 1/4 c orange juice (with pulp)*
1 T rosemary, minced or crushed
salt & pepper, to taste
*If you use orange juice with pulp or freshly squeezed orange juice, mix it with 1/4 c of water
Step 1) Preheat oven to 350F.
Step 2) Tenderize the chicken. If you don’t have a tenderizing mallet, place the chicken breast between 2 pieces of wax paper and use a heavy object that you can get a good grip on (for example, a large metal bowl).
The goal with tenderizing here is to make sure the breast is the same thickness throughout. I aim for 1/2 inch thick.
Step 3) Add the olive oil to a medium-sized roasting pan or Pyrex dish. Dredge your chicken through the olive oil to coat both sides then leave in the pan. Sprinkle both sides with salt & pepper (to taste – I use about 1 t of each). Add your garlic, onion, rosemary and orange juice.
Be sure to either mince (for fresh) or crush (for dried) the rosemary. Otherwise, when you try to eat the chicken, you’ll be poked with little rosemary twigs. Not pleasant.
Step 4) Bake for 15 minutes, flip the breasts, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until cooked through. When done, the chicken will be pale, pale white. If it starts to brown, the chicken will be overcooked.
Step 5) Plate the chicken and spoon the orange sauce over. Done!
Roasted Vegetables (serves 2)
3 medium golden beets, chunked
4 small carrots, chunked
2 T olive oil
2 t salt*
pepper, to taste
* Use more salt that you think necessary. The salt extracts the water from the vegetables as they roast, allowing the sugars and starches in them to cook. This is what makes roasted vegetables so tasty. (In my opinion.)
Step 1) Preheat oven to 350F.
Step 2) Add the olive oil to a large Pyrex dish or roasting pan. Make sure your vegetables are completely dry before you add them to the pan, then stir them to coat in the oil.
Step 3) Add the salt and whatever pepper you’d like (I use about 1/2 t) to the pan and stir again to make sure it’s evenly distributed on your vegetables.
The best way to check your salt level is to pop one of the chunks of vegetable in your mouth. Does it taste salty enough to be unpleasant? Good! You’re golden. If it’s so salty you rush to get a glass of water, you’ll want to add a few more vegetables to even out the ratio.
Step 4) Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 or so to make sure they don’t stick to the pan.
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
2 T butter
pinch of salt
Step 1) Heat your balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on very low heat. When it starts to bubble, add the butter and a tiny dash of salt.
Step 2) Stir almost constantly, letting the liquid reduce.
Step 3) When it has reduced about halfway, remove from heat and let cool.
Step 4) When your vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and pour about 1/4 c of the glaze over them. Toss to distribute and serve!
It’s that easy and so delicious. At first, the smell of vinegar will be overwhelming. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. The hot pan cooks off a lot of the vinegar itself, leaving the glaze behind. By the time your vegetables are cool enough to eat, the smell will be gone.
This week’s post is also a lesson in humility for me. Out of everything I made, I somehow managed to screw up the rice. Which I make at least 3 times a week. I’m not sure what happened to it, but the water burned off too quickly, leaving me with a crunchy rice. (Al dente, if you will.) I threw in a few extra ingredients and sautéed it, which magically saved the race, but it wasn’t the side dish I was intending.
I’ll tell you all about it another time.