Friday, October 17, 2008

Champagne Balsamic Chicken



Champagne Balsamic Chicken - It's not the most photogenic dish in the world, but it was really good.  I made it with a champagne balsamic vinegar I picked up at Artisano's  last week and hadn't tried yet. For those that don't live in Indiana, they ship, and if you order something get a 1 or 2 ounce sample of the applewood smoked salt, ghost pepper salt (hot!) and espresso sugar.

It was pretty simple, cooked on the stovetop in my favorite red French Oven (you can use any big, sturdy pot.

In the pot mix: 

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup champagne balsamic viniger (or any good quality balsamic)
3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons chicken stock (or canned broth)
3 generous teaspoons of jarred minced garlic
2 dashes of sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 heaping teaspoon mixed dried herbs (I used a mixture of chives, basil, tarragon, chervil and a tiny bit of dill, but just tarragon or basil would work).
a couple grinds from the pepper mill

Add 3-4 skinless chicken breasts and bring to and maintain, a low boil.  Cook for 15 minutes, flip chicken pieces over then reduce heat slightly and cook at a gentle simmer until internal temp is 165 F. on a meat thermometer, (around 30-40 minutes for the pieces I had), keeping lid OFF so that the liquid is reduced to better caramlize the chicken pieces, still leaving enough for you to drizzle on other things. 

When the chicken is about 160 degrees F., remove the bay leaf, lower the heat slighty and put some bread in the oven.  What's good?   Popovers, always good on a cold, blustery day.
The popovers were 1/4 of the cost of packaged frozen rolls and much tastier. Between  gust fronts they went in, as those are a little more temperamental cooking wise, but they were worth it, tall, buttery custard like texture inside, flaky layers on the outside.
Dinner was easy and good, the chicken staying really moist and the garlicy champagne balsamic sauce, absolutely wonderful drizzled over the sweet potatoes (there was also broccoli).

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