Thursday, June 28, 2007

Braised chicken with balsamic vinegar

I had to wait a little whle until the painful stupidity of what I did with this had faded a little bit.

I decided to make a braised chicken-and-potatoes dish. It was done entirely on the stovetop, which is nice during the summer when one doesn't want to turn on her oven more than is absolutely necessary.

It serves 4, and there's just one of me. I loaded up all of my leftovers to take with me to work for lunch for the week... and left the container sitting next to my front door. After 9 hours of it sitting out at room temperature, I wasn't taking any chances, so I only had one meal from this. Luckily, it was a very tasty meal.

Braised chicken

3 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4" strips
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (Vidalia, if you can find one)
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled, or 12-15 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lb waxy potatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2" wide half-moons (peeling not necessary)

Cook bacon in a deep 12-inch skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving the bacon fat in skillet.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken (in 2 batches if necessary) in bacon fat over moderately high heat, turning once, about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from skillet.

Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook over medium heat until starting to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the sliced onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and slightly translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic cloves and chicken broth to the skillet, and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

Return chicken to skillet, nestling the chicken down into the sauce. Gently simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Add the balsamic vinegar to the sauce and boil, uncovered, mashing the garlic cloves with the back of a spoon, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Serve chicken and potatoes together, sprinkled with crumbled bacon.

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