Orange Chicken with White Wine and Mouse part 3

After John left for work yesterday morning Lola and I came downstairs and the house had that empty, super quiet feeling.  Then it hit me… the pantry door was open and the mouse traps were gone!    I ran into the pantry and flicked the baseboard calling “Jerry?!? You in there li’l buddy?”  It was like going to visit a friend in the hospital, walking into their room and finding the bed empty and the sheets pulled off.  Had to call John right away and it went like this:

“Where’s Jerry?”
“Who’s Jerry?”
“You know damn well who Jerry is – our mouse!  What happened?”
“I dumped him out behind the grass clippings.”
“OMG!  Is he… was he… you didn’t kill him did you?”
“No, he was in the trap and I dumped him out… just looked a little dazed is all.”
“Did he look happy?”
“Hard to tell, it’s a downpour, he just looked wet.”

So Jerry’s relocated (for now), Moe’s nervously pacing trying to figure out where his new best friend went, and Lola’s bummed because Moe’s food dish is back in the pantry, behind the barrier where she can’t slurp up his food.  But at least I can stand in the kitchen without wondering if some little critter’s going to be running over my feet.  And to finish up that wonderful meal from last week – the chicken!

Chicken in White Wine with Orange Zest

1      Orange
4-6  Chicken Breasts
4      Tablespoons butter
1      Red onion, small, minced
1/2   Cup sweet white wine, like a Riesling
Majoram, about a tablespoon

– Pound chicken breasts until about 1/2″ thick and season w/salt & pepper
– Finely grate about a tablespoon (or more) of orange zest then squeeze juice into small bowl.
– Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and saute chicken until golden.  Remove to separate plate, pour 1/2 of the orange juice over chicken and cover.
– In same pan, melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add minced onions until opaque but not brown.  Add the wine, marjoram, remaining orange juice, and zest.  Stir, scraping up browned bits until sauce is bubbling and slightly reduced – just a few minutes.
– Transfer chicken and any juices back to pan for a few minutes.  Serve with sauce spooned over chicken.

This is a really fast and easy dish with a lot of flavor.  You know I kinda miss Jerry.  I was thinking too… if Moe had actually caught Jerry, I wonder if he’d say he tasted just like chicken.

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Scalloped Potatoes, plus mouse 2

Listen folks, I’ve got a huge dog who’s supposed to guard and protect me.  I guess that works since no one’s attacked me.  Then I have a cat.  Cat’s are supposed to keep your feet warm at night and keep mice out of the house.  My last post gave you an idea of how effective that’s been.  We’re now into Day 2 of “The Mouse Incident”.  I really didn’t think I’d be seeing “Jerry” again but as I was getting a cup of coffee in the kitchen, I heard sounds of a scurfuffle in the family room and found this going on around Lola’s toy tub (notice the little ADHD at around 25 second mark):

I figured we’d be done with the mouse in a few minutes so I had my coffee, got on the computer, did a load of laundry… oh ’bout 2 hours later it was finally quiet so I went in to the pantry to get the dust pan.  And found this…

Wait for it….

Really?

Moe’s taking a lunch break while his new best friend is trying to get into a bag of birdseed that’s in a canvas bin.  Figuring I’d take care of things, I grabbed the dust pan and broom which scared Jerry who fell into the bin.  Aha!  Got you trapped you lil varmit!  Just as I was about to trap him under the dust pan, he popped out onto Moe’s butt.  Seriously – Moe turned his head with a “just a minute willya – I’m still eating”.  Of course Jerry went back into the baseboard as soon as I got close.  And now we’re into Day 4… but let’s move on to the scalloped potatoes.

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

4      Potatoes, large, peeled
2      Very large Vildalia or white onions
5      Tablespoons butter (start with 3 TBL, add more to thicken)
2      Tablespoons flour
2      Cups milk
1/4   Cup cream
1/2   Cup parmesan cheese, grated
Paprika, salt, pepper, chopped parsley

– Thinly slice potatoes and onions then boil together in large pot until just slightly tender.
– Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour with a sprinkling of paprika, pepper, and salt until smooth.  Blend in milk and cream, stirring over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.  Add parmesan, continue to stir until well blended and smooth.
– In a greased casserole dish, layer 1/2 potato/onions.  Sprinkle a little chopped parsley, then spoon sauce on top.  Add second layer of potato/onions and cover with remaining sauce.
– Bake uncovered at 375° for about 1/2 hour, until top is browned.  Sprinkle with more chopped parsley.

Ask cat how the mousing’s coming along.