Balsamic Braised Chicken

2013-11-08
  • Servings : 2
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 45m
  • Ready In : 60m

Braising is always thought of as long and slow but there are some dishes that can be cooked relatively quickly and this Balsamic Braised Chicken is one of them. When I first came across the idea of using Balsamic Vinegar as a hefty part of the braising liquid for a dish I was a little taken aback. It just felt a little weird but the more I thought about it , the more the sane part of my brain was saying ‘why not?’. I love the flavour of Balsamic Vinegar and one of my favourite quick sauces depends on it for the base flavours so it was time to experiment.

It has taken a couple of attempts to get this recipe just right but the final version resulted in a plate that was scraped clean and I was delighted I had made enough for two portions so I could have it again soon.

I used skinned, boneless Chicken Thighs for this recipe as they have a better flavour for anything braised in my opinion. They are also a great deal more reasonably priced that Chicken Breast fillets. When you taste the sauce for seasoning before you reduce it, it will initially taste quite sharp but allow your taste buds to go beyond that and season accordingly. When combined with the Chicken, the sauce takes on a different balance and you will be surprised at the difference.

I used Basil and Rosemary in the braising liquid for this one but Tarragon also works well. For once I didn’t use Garlic but that also adds an interesting dimension if you want to try it. I did make sure that the onion I used was well cooked and almost a little sticky before I added the vinegar and water mix and it pays off to do that rather than just soften it. Leaving the top off the dish in the oven is essential, your sauce will not reduce properly if you don’t. It may seem a little fiddly to strain the sauce into a pan to reduce it but it removes the spiky Rosemary and makes the sauce much nicer.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Chicken Thighs, skinned and boned
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 100 mls / 4 fl ozs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 150 mls / 6 fl ozs water
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • 1 tsp dried Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4

Step 2

Season the chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper

Step 3

Heat the Oil in a flameproof casserole

Step 4

Brown the Chicken and remove from the casserole

Step 5

Add the sliced Onion to the casserole dish and cook gently until beginning to caramelise

Step 6

Place the Chicken pieces on top of the Onion, and add the dried herbs

Step 7

Pour over the Balsamic Vinegar and the water and bring to a gentle boil

Step 8

Do not put the lid onto the casserole dish

Step 9

Put the casserole into the oven and cook for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is done

Step 10

Take the Chicken out and keep warm

Step 11

Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan

Step 12

Bring the sauce back to the boil on the hob and reduce until slightly sticky, adjust the seasoning to your taste

Step 13

Put the chicken back into the sauce for a couple of minutes until it is well coated

Step 14

Serve with vegetable of choice

Step 15

Eat

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