Monday Aug 17 2009
Balsamic chicken is a simple, yet delicious dish
By: Rachel Chaddock
We eat a lot of chicken at our house (obviously! I think next week might be chicken, too), and I’m always trying to come up with new ways to serve it. Time is also of the essence, and simplicity, too, since I tend to be cooking with a 10-month–old baby boy zooming around my feet in his walker. This dish takes one pan, takes advantage of seasonal ingredients and tastes good, too! In fact, you can get all the ingredients except the salt, pepper and chicken stock at your local Farmers Market. And, of course, I suggest you use a homemade stock if you can (it tastes better and uses less salt), but if you do use canned there’s one in a yellow box that is not bad at all. I served this with roasted fresh chard. To make the chard, I tore one bunch’s worth into roughly bite-sized pieces, tossed it with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper, and then cooked it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (keep an eye on it). It ends up drying out and being crispy. But watch closely, because the line between crisp and burnt is a fine one! You can also serve this dish with a green salad. This recipe serves four and can be easily multiplied. Rachel Chaddock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also welcomes reader questions and requests. Balsamic Chicken 4 boneless chicken breasts, with skin 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup chicken stock 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade Salt and pepper Pat dry the chicken breasts and season each side with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I like cast iron) over medium high heat until hot. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down and sauté for 6 minutes or until the skin has browned. Flip the chicken and cook for 12-15 minutes more or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a serving dish — tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring every so often, until softened, but not golden. Add the garlic and cook until you can just start to smell it, or about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, thyme and parsley, and cook for 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. Add the stock and balsamic vinegar — bring to a simmer and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir it into the sauce until it has melted entirely. At the last minute, stir in the basil (you add it at the end so it doesn’t blacken). Serve, skin side up, topped with the sauce. Garnish with additional basil, if desired. Serves 4.