Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli

When I was in high School, I attended a breakfast with predominant restaurant owners and before leaving Sylvia Posedel herself asked me to come to work for her, at Sylvia’s Italian Restaurant, a staple in Portland Restaurant history.  I worked there for 3 years, during high school, and much of the year after.  During the time I worked there, I worked as the Assistant Banquet Chef, I learned A LOT about the restaurant industry.  I must add that I decided not to follow my lifeline dream.  I enjoy cooking, and I don’t want it to be a daily drudge. 

That being said, in my years at Sylvia’s I learned a lot about Italian cooking.  I also learned what I would call my signature dish, Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli.  I would have to say, after making this nightly for 100 to 150 people, I know it by heart, and it is very difficult to write down the actual recipe, because I just know how to make it.  So….once again, please understand I don’t measure, so the equivalents might be a little off a little, but that just opens it up for you to adjust to your liking.

*Footnote, Sylvia’s Italian Restaurant has since closed, and with it the memories of Sylvia Posedel, who passed several years ago.  I will always remember her and her passion for serving customers. For her, it wasn’t about cooking, or running a restaurant, it was about making what customers want.  She once told a story about when her restaurant only served Pizza, she had a customer wanting a Hawaiian Style Pizza.  She had no idea what it had on it, so she asked the customer what it had on it, and left the kitchen to run to the store to get ham and pineapple (BTW, she ran to the company I now work for!!).  She said it repulsed her, but it was what a customer wanted, so she made it, and the customer came back to tell her it was the best pizza he had ever had.  It was a regular she kept on the menu ever since.

Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 T. Oil
1 box Chicken broth
4-5 Rosemary sprigs (leave all intact, except one. Pull all leaves off of the sprig)
8- 10 mushrooms, sliced
½ sweet onion, diced

Heat oil in skillet. Add salt and pepper to flour. Dredge chicken through flour mixture. Brown chicken in oil. 
Meanwhile, place broth and rosemary sprigs in a pan and , reduce to ½ the volume.
Once the volume has reduced, pour broth over chicken, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Temp chicken to ensure it is over 160 (160 is cooked, 180 is white).

Sauté onions and mushrooms in another pan and place on top of chicken.  Once the Chicken is completely cooked, remove chicken to cool slightly and mix cornstarch and water mixture.

2-3 T. Cornstarch
1-2 T. Water

You HAVE to mix the cornstarch and water together with your fingers until smooth. Do this with your finger, otherwise you cannot tell what’s going on with the starch. Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth. 

Serve with Orzo Au Burro and Steamed Broccoli

Orzo Au Burro

1 pkg Orzo, boiled
½ stick of butter
1 Cup Asiago, grated
Parsley, chopped

Boil pasta, drain. Add in butter and Asiago and parsley. Serve immediately.


  1. Do you remember broccoli mostaccioli?

    I used to work at Sylvia's as a bus boy and doing lights at the dinner theatre

  2. I remember Sylvia's fondly. My late husband and I particularly loved the lasagna with ricotta. I've never had anything that even came close. Do you know if anyone has the recipe?


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