orange grilled chicken on grape walnut salad with balsamic reduction: cooling protien for a full night.

A wonderful night was preceded by a marvelous day. Not only was it sunny but friendship abounded throughout my day. I had lunch with Jeff, the theology student from church, at Nuba  – lovely food there, however, the walk is a bit interesting past the New Amsterdam Café.
Then, amazingly, my boss let me off an hour early from work! Providential. Kevin Z. and Stelna were waiting for me at home, and we were soon joined by Kevin S. and Josh (who has been touring the ‘continent’ – Europe – for about two months and only just returned).

We then went to the grocery store, and after much diversion and distraction by the boys, bought the necessities for dinner.
It was bloody hot yet again. And so, in response to overactive sweating, I decided a salad was in order. A salad with crunchiness, sweetness, and cooling balls of goodness (grapes – just for some clarification).

A balsamic reduction is an amazing thing. The perfect balance between tangy, vinegary, and sweet. It is enough to wake you from the stupor caused from overheating.
Afterward, we went to a fundraiser for Imagine1Day. Though for a good cause, our interpretation of the evening was that it was a casual affair, with dancing and fun had by all. So we arrived completely underdressed for the swanky yuppie gathering that was going on, and left about 15 minutes later after taking some memorable photos in a photo booth. It was a well-placed 15 dollars, however, we were not a well-placed quartet in the fundraiser. 
So we decided to go somewhere that more suited our attire – a 24 hour Vietnamese restaurant near Cambie. Along the way we received some gems from Josh’s mouth, some a bit extreme to post on a blog that contains food – we don’t want any taint for your appetite. But all around, it was an amazing evening.

Orange Grilled Chicken on Grape Walnut Salad with Balsamic Reduction

2 chicken breasts, de-boned and skinned
1 orange, juiced, zest reserved
2 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano

1 c. grapes, halved
1/4 c. candied walnuts
1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. radishes, sliced
1 c. watercress
1 c. mixed greens

1 c. balsamic vinegar, good quality
1 tbs. white sugar 

1. Place balsamic vinegar and white sugar on stove in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and let cook until reduced by half. Remove and let cool.

2. Heat a frying pan to medium and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil in. Combine chicken with the first 4 ingredients. Cook chicken breast on one side for 7 or 8 minutes or until brown and golden. Flip and repeat until cooked. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Place greens, then watercress, then the rest of the salad ingredients on 2 or 3 plates (depends how much you want to serve or eat . . .). Slice chicken breasts diagonally to create strips. Place evenly on top of salads. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.

4. Pray. Eat. Enjoy (be careful not to overheat during these sweltering days!).