One of my ‘black beasts’ is fast food, meaning the kind of stuff peddled to children on every shopping street in the developed world. It makes me angry on many counts, the cynical exploitation of children as a target audience, the apparent inability of parents to resist ‘pester power’, the nutritional paucity of the offering, and then the exploitation of cheap labour and cheaply raised factory-farmed animals*. This is my attempt to win my small children over with my version, and pander to their love of vinegar!
First, find a happily raised chicken, preferably organic or free-range, jointed. In a nonstick pan, blast the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, until well browned. Pour off any fat and season with salt, pepper and some fines herbes and garlic if they like it. Cover with a lid and continue to cook until the pieces are thoroughly cooked (about 10 more minutes, i.e. 20 minutes in all). Remove the chicken pieces and allow rest for a few minutes. Collect any juices that have run from them (these should be clear – if pink, the chicken is not cooked through). De-glaze the pan with Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar and the juices. Pour this sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and a salad.
* I heartily recommend anyone interested in these issues to read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin, 2001, ISBN 0-713-99602-1), which is a compelling read and very scary.
© 2003 Chantal Coady. All rights reserved.