A Savory Story Of Chicken And Rosemary

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - October 21, 2009
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We may think we know our American history, but what if there were other ways to explore the milestones of our great nation?

That’s exactly what local storyteller James McCarthy asked when he began thinking about the show he would create with Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Stripes & Stars, which plays at Tenney Theatre this month. “What if the civil rights movement was talked about in a ghost story?” he asks. Or, “Instead of retelling how George Washington was a great war hero, what if we told about the many brave women who fought in the Revolutionary War?”

Long before there were history books, there were singing storytellers. McCarthy comes from this rich tradition, and says, “I believe stories are a part of being human, and that they are important to learning, health, entertainment and education. We need to sit with each other to hear and share stories. We need to carry their messages and questions around inside of us.”


Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s Stripes & Stars, a celebration of the diversity of cultures, geography and music that have shaped our nation, featuring McCarthy, is onstage at Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Friday Oct. 23, and Saturdays, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. For more information, call 839-9885 or log on to http://www.htyweb.org.

This column is dedicated to McCarthy, a professional musician, storyteller and actor, for his work as a teaching artist in Hawaii’s schools.

There are many stories of how rosemary got its name, one being that, as the Virgin Mary was fleeing to Egypt with the baby Jesus, she tossed her blue cloak onto a bush. The next day, flowers that had been white were blue, and the herb became known as “rose of Mary.”

The plant’s Latin name means “foam of the sea” and refers to the fact that it grows best near the seashore.

Down through the ages, a common association with rosemary is remembrance, and some countries continue to place a sprig of rosemary in the hands of the deceased before burial.


* 4 chicken breasts, skin removed and fat trimmed

* olive oil, to coat chicken (about 2 teaspoons)

* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 1 tablespoon fresh, very finely chopped rosemary

* 1/4 cup red wine

* salt and pepper, to taste

* 4 medium fresh carrots, sliced

* 4 medium potatoes, sliced

* 2 medium zucchini, sliced

* 1/3 cup vegetable stock

Place chicken breasts in a shallow glass pie plate or dish, and rub with olive oil to coat whole breast.

Mix garlic, wine, rosemary, pepper and salt until combined and pour over chicken.

Turn chicken in marinade and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat roasting pan with cooking spray.

Place chicken in pan and arrange vegetables around chicken. Pour remaining marinade over all, and add 1/3 cup vegetable stock. Cover pan loosely with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and juices from chicken run clear.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 220

Fat: 6 grams

Cholesterol: 68 milligrams

Sodium: 100 (depending on salt added to taste)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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