Sage advice for a windy weekend.

9/28/2009 07:52:00 pm

The weather has gone all awry. I keep sneezing and suddenly it's cold again. When I was walking in the gale-force winds today my nose started running, but I couldn't get to a tissue in time, and I got snot. on. my. face. Sorry, was that an over-share? I'm sure it was for the lady who was walking past me at the time.

I decided the wisest thing to do on a day so foul was to stay indoors and cook delicious things. Fowl, to be precise. Oh man, I'm on a roll with the puns today!

So I made oven-roasted chicken with zucchini and walnuts in sage browned-butter with rigatoni.

And it was delicious.

And I am going to tell you how.

First you take a chicken breast and make some nice deep diagonal cuts in it.
Sage and walnut butter

Then drizzle on some olive oil and lots of cracked pepper and salt, and stuff sage leaves into the slices.
Sage and walnut butter

Put the chicken in the over at 190 and take some artsy Martha Stewart pictures of the sage. It will come in handy later (the sage..not necessarily the artsy Martha Stewart photo). Around this time you should also start boiling some water: once it's come to the boil, throw in half a pack of rigatoni..more if you're feeling especially gluttonous hungry.

Sage and walnut butter

Then take some zucchini...
Sage and walnut butter

...and slice it into little have some choices here as to how to cook it. I'll admit I sort of forgot I was going to put zucchini into this, I wanted something green to balance out all the butter, so in a pinch I put it under the chicken breast to let it soak up some juices, and then I let it brown up a little and soften properly in the still-hot pot after I drained my pasta. Mainly, I was lazy and I didn't want more washing up, so let's just say for now, cook the damn zucchini however you want.
Sage and walnut butter

While all this is going on, we get to the important part. Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat and then throw in some butter. I used about 50 grams.. perhaps a little more. Ahem.

Since my pan was hot I threw the butter in and it foamed up and melted straight away, scaring the shit out of me because I wasn't expecting it and I thought it was going to burn. You can salvage such a situation by taking off the heat straight away and keeping the butter moving in the pan. No photos sorry, was too busy swirling my pan. I tried actually, but it was a little too action shot, a little less focus... Very quickly the butter will turn a lovely nutty brown colour, this is when you throw in some sage leaves and some walnuts. Return it to a very low heat to let the flavours come out, or cover it and put it aside. I don't think it really matters either way as long as you don't let the butter burn. Burnt butter cannot be salvaged and tastes like ass, so you want to avoid that.
Sage and walnut butter

By now the pasta is probably done (and you can use the pot to finish off the zucchini if you are lazy like me) and if you look in the oven..ooooh the chicken is almost done too. Pull it out and slice it roughly.
Sage and walnut butter

And then just sort of...mix it all together.
Sage and walnut butter

The end.

Your arteries will hold this against you for some time, but your stomach will thank you. Just trust me on this one.

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