Wednesday, August 1, 2007

+10 forage bonus to Survival checks

So its definitely berry season in Oregon.

For the last week I've been stopping partway on my bike ride home from work and eating boatloads of blackberries. Blackberry bushes are everywhere in Oregon right now, but there's a sweet spot just off the bike path where no matter how many blackberries I pick, there's been a metric crap-ton more the next day.

Blackberry bushes have a boatload of thorns, but that's okay because the berries are huge so its completely worth it.

You can see the Willamette river just across the bushes where they grow like crazy.

For the last few days, I've been eating as many as I can stomach and then filling my ziploc sandwich bags from lunch (I have a sandwich and carrots everyday) with blackberries.

Then I go home, lift, and then make a blackberry protein shake. Its been great eating. Nice change from the blueberries (of which we still have about 10 pints in the freezer).

Last night I decided to surprise Mary and made blackberry chicken for dinner. I didn't really know how to incorporate blackberries and chicken so I looked up some stuff on the internet and mixed-and-matched recipes until I didn't have to go get any ingredients.

Here's the recipe breakdown for Scantabulous Berry Chicken:

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • 2:2:1 ratio of sage:thyme:rosemary (dry in this case)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar (probably optional)
  • handful of blackberries (mashed - you can use any berries)
  • 2 small cloves garlic (minced)
  • chicken breasts
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub down chicken with olive oil and then season with sage:thyme:rosemary mix. Pour 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup chicken stock into glass or ceramic oven dish. Toss seasoned chicken breasts into dish and bake for 35 minutes, occasionally spooning wine/stock mix onto chicken every 10 minutes or so. Mix brown sugar, vinegar, blackberries, and garlic (for serious!) into a thick paste. After chicken's been cooking for 35 minutes, take it out and spread the blackberry spread all over the top of the chicken. Pour the second 1/4 cup wine into the pan. Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Make rice in the meantime if you're bored. Take chicken out and pour remaining white wine/stock mix from the chicken pan into a stovetop pot and get it boiling. Put chicken on a plate with rice. Reduce the wine/stock mix to about 50% starting volume and spoon over chicken. Toss on a couple of whole blackberries for effect.