Thursday, January 1, 2009

Balsamic Poached Chicken

This recipe is super easy, healthy and tasty. One lesson learned, though. It's MUCH better with a good quality balsamic, like what you'd find at Williams Sonoma. The second time I made it, I used a cheap balsamic vinegar. I did not get the deep color on it like I did when I made it the first time with the good stuff. And, the flavor wasn't nearly as good. It says that the vinegar will reduce in with about 10 minutes of boiling. It does not. If you want to thicken the sauce, you'll need to use corn starch, though that will affect the texture.

Balsamic Poached Chicken
Real Simple Magazine

1 pound new potatoes, halved or quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 400° F.

Place the potatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper, and toss. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan once. Add the asparagus to the pan with the potatoes, season with the remaining salt, and toss. Roast until the asparagus is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the broth and vinegar to a boil. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Pound the chicken to an even thinness. Add the chicken and, if necessary, enough water (up to 1/2 cup) to cover it. Simmer for 1 minute. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Return the liquid to medium-high heat and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Thickly slice the chicken. Divide the ingredients among individual plates. Drizzle with the balsamic mixture.

Tip: The pungent smell of simmering vinegar can linger long after you remove the pan from the stove. To reduce the odor, open the windows or turn on a fan early in the cooking process.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 440 (28% from fat); FAT 13g (sat 2g); SUGAR 11g; PROTEIN 47g; CHOLESTEROL 100mg; SODIUM 600mg; FIBER 4g; CARBOHYDRATE 32g

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