Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic-Garlic Reduction

Ooh! Don't I sound classy! Heehee. I used to have no idea what a "reduction" was when I saw it on fancy restaurant menus. But now I understand...duh! It's just reducing the liquid by excess cooking time to make the flavors bolder and richer. :)
Well, I always love to add new chicken recipes to my rotation, and this one is here to stay! I have made it twice now and both times Hubby has exclaimed over the excellent aroma and flavor. And my motto is: "When Hubby exclaims, I retain!" Haha, not really, but you get the general idea. The recipe gets officially printed and filed. :) Anyway, this particular recipe was again located on my fav cooking site, allrecipes, and is very easy, though it has lovely elegant flavors! I tweaked it a bit to my liking, but I'll include the link to the original recipe in case you want to try it their way! :) I'm not a fan of mushrooms, so I left those out.
First order of business- to thaw my frozen chicken breasts. We shop in Spokane (about an hr away) once a month, so I always go with having frozen chicken breasts on hand, which I thaw in the microwave. This takes about 11 min, so I have to remember to add that to the cooking time! While the chicken is thawing, I peel garlic cloves and heat up the olive oil in the skillet. If anyone knows of a really easy way to peel garlic, please let me know! Anyway, once the chicken is thawed, I season it lightly with salt and pepper, then sauté it until it is nicely browned on one side, but not fully cooked.
Next, I add the whole garlic cloves (which besides adding flavor add a wonderful aroma to the kitchen!). Then I turn the chicken and continue to cook it for a few minutes, until it is mostly done, stirring the garlic around so it gets soft and sweet.
Once the chicken looks like it is pretty thoroughly cooked (but not overcooked!), I add the sauce ingredients- balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, thyme and a bay leaf. The only experience I had with balsamic vinegar before this was at nice restaurants where you can dip your bread in it. Yum! I was afraid it might be too strong a flavor, but it is delicious! Once the sauce ingredients are mixed together, I cover the skillet and simmer it on low heat for about 10 minutes, turning the chicken a couple of times to be sure it gets coated with the sauce. I then remove the chicken to a covered plate to keep it warm and start the sauce reducing! :) Simply simmer an additional 7 minutes or so at a little higher heat. Then swirl a bit of butter into the sauce, pour over the chicken, and serve!
I like to serve this with rice to soak up the sauce, but pasta would probably also be a good alternative. Bon appetit!

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic Reduction
(printable version)
(my tweaking- original recipe can be found here)
Serves 4

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp butter

1)Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over med-hi heat and sauté chicken until nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes).
2) Add the garlic. Turn the chicken. Continue frying about 3 minutes, then add vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over med-low heat for 10 min., turning occasionally.
3) Transfer chicken to a warm serving platter and cover. Set aside. Continue simmer sauce, uncovered, over med-hi heat for about 7 min. Swirl in the butter and discard bay leaf. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.


  1. Looks, very yummmy. I'm going to add it to my recipe box at all recipes.

    BTW- A fast and easy way to peel garlic...seperate from the head of the garlic and place it on the cutting board...take a solid knife...not a thin one and lay it on top of the clove, then slam the palm of your hand on top of the knife...hard. It cracks the shell around the clove every time. It seems a bit scary the first few times you do it because you freak yourself out that you might cut your hand, but I've done it for years now and I've never been hurt :)

  2. Hey that's a great idea! I'll have to try it. Thanks. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...