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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken

This truly is one of my favorite recipes  Not only because it tastes so good, but because this can be expanded out to be used in other recipes. This recipe is so extraordinarily simple that there really is no need for pictures but my 7 year old wanted to be involved and I was happy to oblige. For this recipe you will need:

Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Italian seasoning

Heat your oven to 350 degrees FAHRENHEIT. I normally wouldn't specify this, but it has been brought to my attention that some of my readers are not in the US.

In a small mixing bowl pour in some olive oil. I used about 1-1 1/2 cups. 
Next comes the vinegar. I used about 1/3 cup. 
Add the salt and other seasonings. I used 1 1/2-2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning, 1/8 tsp. salt and about 3 pinches of pepper. This recipe is pretty light so if you add any more pepper it will overwhelm the other flavors.

Mix it all up with a whisk. If this is your first time using this recipe, you may have to remix it half way through doing the chicken.

For this recipe, I beg of you to use the fresh chicken, not the stuff that comes in a freezer bag. The fresh absorbs the flavors a lot easier and tastes about a million times better. I also trim all the fat off the chicken, but that is up to you. I know some who like to leave it on but personally I do not understand it.

Take your chicken and dip it in your vinegar mix, coating it really well. Personally I use food service gloves for this.  You are going to take it straight from the vinegar to the baking dish. You can use anything from a casserole dish to a cookie sheet for this, it really doesn't matter all that much. 

After dipping all of your chicken and putting them on the baking dish, you can put a little bit more of the mix on top if you choose or just put it on the oven. I put some more on because I am using these for another recipe afterward.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. It is pretty hard to overcook this recipe, but obviously possible. Your time will vary depending on the dish you used, and the thickness of the chicken. 
I know the standards of cooking have changed a little and vary depending on where you live, but I always bake until a minimum of 165 and maximum of 185.

Remember, my seven year old son took the pictures for this post, and I think he did an awesome job.

If you are using this recipe purely for the chicken, which I have done many times, I suggest serving it with a salad and some of the baked vinegar mix drizzled over it. 

A note for cleanup. Obviously you know to sterilize anything that touched the raw chicken, but the vinegar mix has olive oil in it. Take it from experience, dump the extra in the compost. If you don't have a compost, find a way to throw it in the trash, but as a last resort, if you absolutely have to pour it down the sink, pour it slowly with running, extremely hot water. If you don't it will hit the cold pipes later down the line, and stick right to the hair and other stuff you have in there, causing a really bad clog. The hot water keeps the oil a liquid in your pipes. I would even keep the hot water running for a few minutes after all the mix is gone.

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