A Feast Menu for the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride

Rosemary Chicken with Orange, Hazelnut and Cardamom Sauce

Only white breast of chicken will do, nestled up against a soft pillow of potatoes and vegetables, and covered in a glistening orange and cardamom sauce. Oh so delicate, tender and sweet. There is definitely a good meeting in the mouth with the spicy flavors of rosemary, cardamom and white wine. This dish will become a favorite.

Chicken Ingredients:
12 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
Fresh rosemary stems for garnish

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup orange juice
1 pound hazelnut meal
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
Zest from one orange

Rinse the chicken breasts trimming away any remaining fat or skin, pat dry and place in a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Pour in the white wine and chicken stock, lay fresh stems of rosemary on top of the chicken, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake the pan in a 350ºF. (180ºC.) oven for 40 minutes.

Blend the orange juice with the hazelnuts and cardamom in a blender until smooth. In a small frying pan on medium heat the oil and sauté the garlic and onions until translucent. Place the hazelnut mixture and the onion mixture into a medium saucepan. When the chicken is done, add the wine and chicken stock from the pan into the saucepan. Add the orange zest and bring the sauce to a simmer until blended, slightly thickened and hot. Transfer the chicken breasts to a serving platter, pour the sauce over the chicken, and decorate with fresh sprigs of rosemary.

The butter is of water, the cardamom is water of air, and the chicken is earth of air. The olive oil and orange zest are of fire, the hazelnut meal is air of fire, and the onion and orange juice are water of fire.