25 June 2010 – “Vinegar Chicken” with tarragon, rice, sauteed summer squash

I decided to make this old favorite dish because I still had some tarragon left, and then forgot to add it until after this picture:

This is a great quick dinner, if you have the ingredients routinely in the house. I defrosted a single chicken half-breast (had used the other one in the package previously) from Costco by putting it in the fridge a couple of days ago, anticipating this meal. Made up some Thai jasmine rice, and sauteed (in olive oil, with salt and pepper) thin slices of a nice little summer squash that caught my eye at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market last Saturday. I preheated the plates in the small oven at 200 degrees, which was made more ok b/c I had to have it on to keep the chicken pieces warm.

Here’s an outline: After removing the “tender”, I cut the mega-breast in half the long way, making two thin, wide pieces of chicken. In our cast-iron pan, sauteed the salted and peppered breast slices in butter till browned, then turned the heat way down and cooked, covered, 10 minutes till done but not tough. These were placed on a plate in the oven to keep them warm. The rcp says to use one small red onion for a whole (two sides) chicken breast, but I use about that for half the chicken. Chop the red onion and cook 5-7 mins in the pan juices till soft; add (for this amount) 2T raspberry vinegar and 2T tarragon vinegar, and cook till thickened, then turn off the heat and melt in one more T butter.

I arrange the rice in a longish pile, slice the chicken pieces against the grain and arrange them over one side of the rice, and then ladle the red onion/vinegar/butter sauce at the junction. I love this dish! And.. oh yeah, I even forget while writing about it… sprinkle chopped tarragon over the onion/chicken/rice.

D asked if what I was cooking could work for “Christmas” (his monthly wine purchase for my Christmas present – a winner!) and was delighted to hear what the meal was. The wine was just excellent with it. We thought, though, that it would have liked to be opened a bit sooner.

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