Do you give parties for staff? Or do you host client open houses?
Do you do some of the cooking?
If so, consider this my contribution to planning for a
late-holiday event or for any time of the year.
It is a recipe that I have used during the last decade and
adapted as I needed. My "review" below, with rants and raves, apes
the style of staff on-site hotel reviews.
Marinated Chicken (serving eight)
Salt and pepper
8 large chicken breasts, boned and skinned
2 cups chicken bouillon
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 cloves garlic, 4 cut in half
3 bay leaves
4 branches rosemary
5 branches sage
1 ounce pine nuts
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs parsley
Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Put bouillon, 1/2 cup balsamic
vinegar, halved garlic cloves, bay leaves and three branches each
rosemary and sage in a large saucepan and boil for five minutes to
allow vinegar to absorb perfumes of herbs.
Reduce heat, add chicken and cook until just tender, about five
minutes (do not overcook or chicken will become dry and stringy);
remove chicken from broth.
Make dressing: Toast pine nuts in 300-degree oven until golden,
seven to eight minutes. In a blender, mix remaining balsamic
vinegar, the olive oil and half the warm pine nuts. Add salt and
white pepper to taste.
Thinly slice chicken breasts on the bias. Finely chop remaining
rosemary, sage, garlic clove and the parsley. Sprinkle chicken with
chopped herbs and marinate in half the dressing for at least two
hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Sprinkle with remaining dressing and pine nuts. This can be
served atop lettuce.
Rants: Unless you have some very skinny chickens, the cooking
does not happen in five minutes.
For my rather chubby chickens, I cooked about 10 minutes, with
the lid on, and then did test cuts on every one before setting
aside for slicing. They were tender.
Raves: This is an incredibly easy way to prepare a delicious
cold chicken dish in advance (say, the night before) and to ensure
compliments from guests about what a fine gourmet cook you are.
When the brew of herbs is bubbling, it is like perfume for the
kitchen. It is not bad for the appetite either. I eat every
odd-shaped piece of chicken that falls to the side during slicing.
I couldn't serve any but perfect pieces, could I?