Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

Let me just put this out there, I love vinegar. The flavors that this simple substance can bring to a recipe are amazing. It has been used to preserve and add flavor to food for hundreds of years. Without vinegar we wouldn’t have pickles, we wouldn’t have many great salad dressings, and we wouldn’t have something to dip bread in.

There are many varieties. Most are made from wine and they all have a unique flavor to contribute to recipes. Balsamic vinegar is my absolute favorite. The rich, sweet flavors can be added to everything from appetizers to desserts. If you haven’t tried it in anything other than salad dressing, you really should. Beware though, not all bottles of balsamic vinegar taste wonderful straight from the bottle. If your budget won’t allow for a bottle of good balsamic, you can buy the lesser priced bottles and doctor them up. I pour mine into a saucepan and add a few teaspoons of sugar to add sweetness. Reduce this mixture over medium heat until you get the consistency you want. The result is a yummy sauce that tastes great on grilled meat. I have found that lesser priced bottles are great in recipes that require longer cooking times too. So go to the store, buy a bottle and start experimenting. Let me know what you use it for; I’m always looking for a reason to add vinegar to my recipes. Below is my newest recipe containing vinegar. It was hit with my husband but the flavors were a little much for the kids. I hope you enjoy!

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

**The original recipe at allrecipes, was for two servings.  I had it adjusted to serve 5.  I also substituted cut chicken breasts to reduce the cooking time and the vinegar to 3/4 of a cup because it was all I had.**

2 T olive oil
2 1/2 onions, chopped
5 chicken leg quarters
10 cloves garlic, chopped
3 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet (I used non stick just to be safe) heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and reduce heat to low.  Allow onion to carmelize, stirring only enough to prevent sticking and to be sure that all sides are fully cooked.  Add garlic and saute breifly.

Increase heat to medium.  Add chicken pieces to skillet and brown on all sides.  Remove chicken, onion and garlic and place in a a 9x13 inch baking dish (I used a deep stoneware dish with a lid).

Combine the chicken stock and vinegar.  Deglaze the skillet with this mixture, then bring to a boil and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.  Pour mixture over chicken and stir in the sun dried tomatoes.  Cover dish tightly and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done and juices run clear. 

I served this with my veggie brown rice and green beans.  My husband and I loved it, but the kids picked out the chicken and left all the delicious tomatoes and onions for me.  Next time I would like to try it with pasta.

Total Cost: $11.29 about $2.38 per serving (5 servings)

Chicken Breasts-$2.82 (1 ½ pounds at $1.99 per pound)
Chicken Broth-.75 (I bought this so long ago I don’t remember the deal I got)
Balsamic Vinegar-$4.89 (I used the whole bottle)
Tomatoes-$1.83 ($3.33-1.50 coupon)
Rice and seasonings-.50
Green Beans-.25
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