Let’s Get the Bal-samic RollingPosted: March 27, 2012
Here’s something you might not know: balsamic vinegar, that rich, dark liquid, has been used in cooking since before the Middle Ages. And, that it’s not made from wine, but actually pressed grapes. I guess that’s why it has a slightly sweet flavor. I don’t cook with it nearly enough, so for this meal I decided to really get the ball (wink) rolling, and use it in both the meat and the side dish. While these two recipes don’t have to made together, they sure do complement each other. The chicken is light and juicy, and the asparagus is crunchy and sweet. They’re pretty easy too. Just make sure you have some time to marinate the chicken breasts.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken
– 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
– ¼ cup of low-sodium soy sauce
– 1 small shallot, minced
– 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 ¼ lb of boneless skinless chicken breasts
In a bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, shallots, brown sugar, garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the chicken breasts in a plastic zip-top bag (or plastic storage container with a lid) and then add the balsamic vinegar marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat your oven to 400º.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and set aside. Put the marinade in a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes or until syrupy, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and divide the marinade in half. At the same time, heat the other tablespoon of oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cover with half of the marinade. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with the remaining marinade.
Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
– 1 lb of asparagus, ends trimmed
– 2 teaspoons of olive oil
– ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
– ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
– 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
– 2 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese
– Salt and pepper
Cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Turn off the heat, add the asparagus and toss. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the goat cheese, season with pepper and serve.